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Full text of "Hydriotaphia, urn burial : with an account of some urns found at Brampton in Norfolk"

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HYDRIOTAPHIA AND BRAMPTON URNS 



[7 'he Frontispiece is reproduced from the first volume 
of the " Posthumous Works of the learned Sir Thomas 
Browne, A?., M.D., late of Norwich," 1712, the 
portrait in which was engraved by At. V. der Gucht. 
This artist, whose name was Michael, was of Flemish 
or Dutch extraction, and worked as an engraver in 
England, as did two other Van der Guchls. The coat- 
of -arms below the portrait, "Argent, two bendlett 
sable betiveen as many pellets" is not given in Burke 1 s 
" General Armory." The coat there assigned to 
Browne (Nether-I^egh, Co. Chester) is " Argent, two 
bendlets between as many mullets, sable." The family 
from which Sir Thomas Brnvne descended was of 
Upton, Cheshire. ,] 



HYDRIOTAPHIA 

URN BURIAL; WITH AN ACCOUNT 
OF SOME URNS FOUND AT BRAMP- 
TON IN NORFOLK, BY SIR THOMAS 
BROWNE: WITH INTRODUCTION 
AND NOTES BY SIR JOHN EVANS, 
K.C.B., F.R.S., F.S.A. 




LONDON PRINTED AND ISSUED BY 
CHARLES WHITTINGHAM & CO AT 
THE CHISWICK PRESS MDCCCXCIII 



THE GF.TTY RESCARCH 
ir-ST'TUTE LI 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION vii 

HYDRIOTAPHIA i 

BRAMPTON URNS 87 

ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES 101 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 
PORTRAIT OF SIR THOMAS BROWNE 

Frontispiece 

SET OF FOUR SAXON URNS . to face page 9 
A ROMAN URN ... 87 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

THE Life of Sir Thomas Browne has been 
already so often traced by other hands, 
including those of Dr. Johnson, in the 
various editions of his works, that it 
would be superfluous here to attempt to 
give more than an extremely succinct 
account of it, though such a brief summary 
seems desirable. 

Descended from a good Cheshire family, 
he was born in London on the ipth of 
October, 1605, and, losing his father 
at an early age, was sent to school at 
Winchester, and subsequently to Broad- 
gates Hall or Pembroke College, Oxford, 
where he graduated Bachelor of Arts in 
1626, and took his Master's degree in 
1629. He afterwards adopted medicine 
as a profession, and practised for some 
little time in Oxfordshire, but on the 



viii EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

invitation of his step-father, Sir Thomas 
Button, he accompanied him on a tour 
of inspection of the various castles and 
forts in Ireland. Being thus as it were 
uprooted from home, he travelled for a 
few years on the Continent, studying 
medicine in the famous schools of Mont- 
pellier and of " Padua beyond the sea," 
and finally taking his degree of Doctor 
of Medicine in the University of Leyden, 
probably in the year 1633. On his 
return to England, about 1634, he seems 
to have settled as a physician at Shipden 
Hall, in the neighbourhood of Halifax, 
whence, after a residence of about three 
years, he was induced by the importu- 
nities of friends to migrate to Norwich, 
in which city he took up his abode in 
1637. In that same year he was incor- 
porated a Doctor of Medicine at Oxford. 
At Norwich he took root, and for a 
period of forty-six years " practised 
physick " in that city, dying there on his 
birthday, the ipth of October, 1682, at 
the complete age of seventy-seven. In 
1641 he had married a congenial wife, 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. ix 

Dorothy Mileham, by whom he left a 
son and three daughters. She it was 
who erected a memorial to her husband 
on the north side of the church of St. 
Peter's Mancroft A tablet to her own 
memory has been placed on the opposite 
side. She died within little more than 
two years after her husband, in the sixty- 
third year of her age. 

As has already been remarked by Dr. 
D. Lloyd Roberts in his excellent edition 
of the "Religio Medici and other Essays," l 
the remains of Sir Thomas Browne 
were not destined to rest in peace. "In 
1840 the lid of his coffin was accidentally 
broken open by a blow from a workman's 
pickaxe, and, to quote his own words, his 
bones were ' knav'd out of his grave,' his 
skull being deposited on show in the 
museum of Nonvich Hospital." 

In connexion with the death of Sir 
Thomas taking place on the exact anni- 
versary of his birth, I am tempted to 
quote some speculations of his own upon 
another case of the same kind. In his 
1 David Stott, 1892, p. xxxii. 



x EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

" letter to a Friend upon occasion of the 
death of his intimate friend " is the 
following passage " : ' " Nothing is more 
common with Infants than to die on the 
day of their Nativity, to behold the 
worldly Hours, and but the Fractions 
thereof; and even to perish before their 
Nativity in the hidden World of the 
Womb, and before their good Angel is 
conceived to undertake them. But in 
Persons who out-live many Years and 
when there are no less than three hun- 
dred sixty five days to determine their 
Lives in every Year ; that the first day 
should make the last, that the Tail of the 
Snake should return into its Mouth pre- 
cisely at that time, and they should wind 
up upon the Day of their Nativity* is 
indeed a remarkable Coincidence ; which, 
tho* Astrology hath taken witty Pains 
to salve, yet hath it been very wary in 
making Predictions of it." 

It was not until 1671 that Dr. Thomas 
Browne received the honour of knight- 

1 "Posthumous Works," 1712, part vii., p. 32. 
* According to the Egyptian Hieroglyphick. 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. xi 

hood from Charles II. on the occasion of 
a royal visit to Norwich. He had already 
attained to great eminence not only as a 
physician but as an author, his two well- 
known works, the " Religio Medici " and 
the " Pseudodoxia Epidemica," the titles 
of which are recorded in his epitaph, 
having at that time long been published. 
The history of the first of these two 
works is singular. It was, according to the 
author's own statement, composed "at 
his leisurable hours for his private exer- 
cise and satisfaction," and the MS. being 
lent from hand to hand, an anonymous 
and surreptitious copy of it was published 
in 1642, and led to no small amount of 
comment. A second edition of this 
spurious volume having appeared, Dr. 
Browne in 1643 published "a true and 
full copy of that which was most im- 
perfectly and surreptitiously printed be- 
fore, under the name of Religio Medici.' " 
In all respects this was a remarkable 
book. Written by one who at the time 
was under thirty years of age, it might 
well have been composed by a man who 



xii EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

had already attained to the span of three 
score years and ten. With the exception 
perhaps of an overfondness for paradox, 
and of a slight tinge of personal vanity, 
all the usual attributes of youth seem to 
be absent, and yet the insight that it 
gives into the author's character is com- 
plete. " I am," he says, " I confess, natu- 
rally inclined to that which misguided 
zeal terms superstition, my common con- 
versation I do acknowledge austere, my 
behaviour full of rigour, sometimes not 
without morosity." Throughout the book 
we find the same curious admixture of 
scepticism and credulity, the same evi- 
dences of extensive and miscellaneous 
reading, the same starting of unexpected 
questions, whether in natural history or 
divinity, which are characteristic of his 
later works. 

The " Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or En- 
quiries into very many received tenents 
and commonly presumed truths which 
examined prove but vulgar and common 
Errors," was originally published in 1646, 
and went through six editions during the 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. Xlll 

lifetime of the author, the last appearing 
iii 1672. In writing the " Religio Medici," 
Sir Thomas Browne protests that he was 
under such disadvantage, that from the 
first setting of pen unto paper he had 
not the assistance of any good book 
whereby to promote his invention or 
relieve his memory, but in the " Pseudo- 
doxia " he reminds one of the instance 
that he himself gives of Pineda, who " in 
one work quotes more authors than 
are necessary in a whole world." While 
inquiring into and exposing many of 
the vulgar errors of his time, the author 
is not in all cases free from error him- 
self, as might in all probability be ex- 
pected from one whose belief in witch- 
craft was firmly fixed, who preferred the 
Ptolemaic to the Copernican system of 
astronomy, who still retained some faith 
in judicial astrology, and whose Spagyric 
chemistry was that of the seventeenth 
century. 

Browne's next work of importance 
was that which is here reprinted, his 
" Hydriotaphia," the first edition of which 



xiv EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

was published in 1658, and "printed for 
Hen. Brome at the Signe of the Gun in 
Ivy-lane" together with his "Garden 
of Cyrus, or the Quincunciall, Lozenge, 
or Net-work Plantations of the Ancients, 
Artificially, Naturally, Mystically Consi- 
dered," a thoroughly characteristic trea- 
tise, full of odd botanical learning and of 
quaint conceits. Both works appeared 
at the end of a quarto edition of the 
" Pseudodoxia Epidemica," published in 
the same year. 

None of the other works of Sir Thomas 
Browne were published in his lifetime, 
but a small volume of" Certain Miscellany 
Tracts, written by Thomas Brown, K*. 
and Doctour of Physick, late of Norwich, 
and edited by Archbishop Tenison," 
appeared in 1684. This contains a tract 
on Artificial Hills, Mounts or Burrows in 
many parts of England. 

Another posthumous volume was pub- 
lished in 1712, containing among other 
treatises an account of some urns found 
in Brampton Field in February, 1667-8, 
here reprinted. His " Christian Morals " 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. xv 

was first printed in 1716. Several Natural 
History papers, extracts from his Com- 
monplace Books and Correspondence, are 
given in Wilkin's edition of the " Works 
of Sir Thomas Browne," 1836, reprinted 
by Bohn and George Bell and Sons. 

The " Hydriotaphia, Urm-Buriall, or, 
A Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes 
lately found in Norfolk" originated with 
the discovery, probably during the winter 
of 1657, of some forty or fifty urns con- 
taining burnt bones in a field at Old 
Walsingham, Norfolk. Although, as 
Browne says in his " Religio Medici," he 
always held a slender and doubtful respect 
unto antiquities, he seized this occasion 
for writing the most attractive, to most 
readers, of all his works ; and this with- 
out inconsistency, as the whole treatise 
is as much of a moral as an antiquarian 
character, and that indeed which he 
admires is " far beyond antiquity, that 
is Eternity : and that is God himself." 

To use the words of a writer in the 
" Retrospective Review" : J " Sir Thomas 
1 Vol. i. (1820), p. 85. 



xvi EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

Browne in the work before us hath dared 
to take the grave itself for his theme. He 
deals not with death as a shadow, but as 
a substantial reality. He dwells not on 
it as the mere cessation of life he treats 
it not as a terrible negation but enters 
on its discussion as a state with its own 
solemnities and pomps. Others who 
have professed to write on death have 
treated merely of dying. They have 
fearfully described the rending asunder 
of soul and body the last farewell to 
existence and the state of the spirit in 
its range through new and untried scenes 
of rapture or of woe. Some have in- 
dividualized the theme, and written of 
death in relation only to particular per- 
sons or classes who become its victims. 
Those who regard it more universally 
and intensely as Blair and Young yet 
look but on its surface. They are con- 
versant only with cypresses, yew-trees, 
and gravestones, or hint at superstitions 
which endow the dead with life, and 
endue the tomb with something of vitality. 
Sir Thomas Browne alone treats of death 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. XV11 

as one subdued to its very essence. He 
encounters the tyrant, and 'plucks out 
the heart of his mystery.' He speaks not 
of the agonies of dissolution ; but regards 
the destroyer only when he is laden with 
his spoils, and the subjects of his victory 
are at rest. The region of his imagination 
is that space beneath the surface of the 
world, where the bones of all generations 
repose. His fancy works beneath the 
ground its way from tomb to tomb, rests 
on each variety of burial, ennobles the 
naked clay of the peasant, expands in 
the sepulchres of kings, and, skimming 
beneath the deepest caverns of the sea, 
detects the unvalued jewels 'in those 
holes which eyes did once inhabit.' The 
language of his essay is weighty yet 
tender, such as his theme should inspire. 
We can imagine nothing graver. His 
words are sepulchral his ornaments are 
flowers of mortality." 

The treatise isdividedinto five chapters, 
the first of which takes into consideration 
the various methods adopted by different 
nations for the disposal of their dead, 



xviii EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

whether by inhumation and " a moist 
Relentment " or by " fiery Resolution." 
Of carnal interment or burying, he says 
that " God himself that buried but one 
was pleased to make choice of this way," 
and though the Jewish nation admitted 
the practice of cremation (for the men 
of Jabesh burnt the body of Saul), yet 
" Christians abhorred this way of obse- 
quies, and though they stickt not to give 
their bodies to be burnt in their lives, 
detested that mode after death ; affecting 
rather a depositure than absumption." 

In Chapter II. we come to the facts of 
the discovery at Walsingham, and the 
account given is supplemented by various 
notices of other antiquities and coins 
found in Norfolk and elsewhere. Besides 
numerous Roman coins and Norman, 
Saxon, and Danish pieces of Cuthrecl, 
Canutus, William, Matilda, and others, 
our author cites some " British coyns 
of Gold which have been dispersedly 
found," and no small number of silver 
pieces with a rude head upon the obverse, 
and with an ill-formed horse on the 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. xix 

reverse, with inscriptions, Ic. Duro. T. 
That Sir Thomas Browne was a collector 
of coins, as well as of all natural curio- 
sities, we may gather from the Diary of 
John Evelyn, who visited him at Norwich 
in October, 1671, and who records that 
his whole house and garden was " a para- 
dise and cabinet of rarities, and that of the 
best collection, especially medals, books, 
plants, and natural things." Browne's 
account of the silver coins probably struck 
by the Iceni or Eceni is both interesting 
and correct. The coins reading DVRO 
are extremely rare, and in modern times 
hardly any instances of their discovery 
are known, except that of a single speci- 
men at Weston, in Norfolk, in I852, 1 
then described as unique by the late 
Mr. C. Roach Smith. In the Hunter 3 
collection at Glasgow is, however, an- 
other example. What may have been 
the coin attributed to the Empress Maud, 
no one has hitherto been able to deter- 
mine. " As to the time of these Urns 

1 " Numismatic Chronicle," vol. xv., p. 98. 

2 Evans' " Ancient British Coins," p. 390. 



xx EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

deposited, or precise antiquity of these 
Reliques, nothing of more uncertainty." 
A doubt appears to have arisen in Sir 
Thomas Browne's mind whether they 
were properly Roman, or might not have 
belonged tx> our British, Saxon, or Danish 
forefathers. For the modern antiquary, 
a glance at the Plate on which figures 
of some of the urns are given, suffices to 
show that they were of Saxon origin, 
and of the same general character as the 
numerous urns which have been found in 
the Eastern counties within the present 
century. The combs, and what would 
appear to have been the remains of 
brooches, and the other objects described 
are also of Saxon character. 

It is, however, well that Sir Thomas 
took the view that these were the urns 
of Romans, as, " from the common custom 
and place where they were found, is no 
obscure conjecture." Much of what 
follows in Chapter III. relates to the 
practice of burning the dead among the 
Romans, and the treatment and disposal 
of their ashes. But here also is much 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. xxi 

miscellaneous learning displayed, and 
not a little pious but quaint morality. 
The analogies between Christian rites 
and those of the Greeks and Romans, 
accompanied by many speculations as to 
the behaviour of ghosts mentioned by 
Homer, Virgil, and other ancient authors, 
and some hints as to the Christian hopes 
of future immortality, help to enrich the 
fourth chapter. 

All the rest of the work is, however, 
excelled by the fifth and last chapter, 
in which the pathetic and poetical imagi- 
nation of the author, his varied reading, 
his quaint conceits, and his pious trust, 
are everywhere conspicuous. It would, 
indeed, be difficult to find in any equal 
number of pages of any writer so 
many real gems of literature. There is 
hardly a paragraph in the whole but 
what will bear reading again and again, 
and each time with fresh admiration. 
What can more neatly and tersely convey 
the ideas of an author than such sen- 
tences as these : " Time which antiquates 
Antiquities, and hath an art to make dust 



xxiv EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

the unusual Latinized words with which 
the text abounds, but attention may 
briefly be called to one or two passages 
in which the author's observations in 
natural history, and the cautious scep- 
ticism mixed with credulity of the author 
of the " Vulgar Errors," spontaneously 
crop out : " They that are so thick skinned 
as still to credit the story of the Phoenix, 
may say something for animall burning : 
More serious conjectures finde some ex- 
amples of sepulture in Elephants, Cranes, 
the Sepulchrall Cells of Pismires and 
practice of Bees ; which civill society 
carrieth out their dead, and hath exe- 
quies, if not interrments." " Sallow makes 
more Ashes than Oake, and discovers the 
common fraud of selling Ashes by mea- 
sure, and not by ponderation." The bay 
" seeming dead, will restore it self from the 
root, and its dry and exuccous leaves re- 
sume their verdure again ; which, if we mis- 
take not, we have also observed in fures " 
(furze). These are some instances of the 
former characteristic ; for the latter may 
be cited his speculations whether fishes 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION, xxv 

wholly escaped the effects of the Deluge ; 
his remarks on the Crucifixion, and the 
relative height of the three crosses, and 
his doubts as to the burthen of Isaac 
being " sufficient for an holocaust." But 
it is time to leave Sir Thomas to speak 
for himself, and though possibly those 
are to be envied who now read the 
" Hydriotaphia " for the first time, those 
who have already read it are certain to 
find fresh charms both in manner and 
matter in reading it again and yet again. 
The first edition of the " Hydriotaphia" 
was, as already stated, published in octavo 
in 1658. The text of this edition is that 
which has been adopted in the following 
pages. A second edition in small quarto, 
but by the same printer, appeared in the 
same year, and formed a sequel to the 
fourth edition of the " Pseudodoxia Epi- 
demica." In this, rather more than a 
page is devoted to Marginal Illustra- 
tions omitted, or to be added to the 
Discourses of " Urn Burial " and of the 
" Garden of Cyrus," as well as numerous 
errata. These have been incorporated, 



xxvi EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

and the necessary corrections made, so 
far as applicable to the first edition. 

Some few evident misprints have also 
been corrected. 

The whole title-page of the first edition 
is here reproduced, although the text of 
the " Garden of Cyrus " is omitted. 

The treatise on " Brampton Urns," 
first published in 1712 among the " Post- 
humous Works of Sir Thomas Browne," 
relates to a subject so closely cognate to 
the " Hydriotaphia," that it has been 
thought advisable to include it in the 
present volume, though the urns at 
Brampton seem to have been of Roman, 
and not of Saxon date. This little essay 
is far more purely descriptive and matter- 
of-fact than the imaginative " Hydrio- 
taphia," but apart from any archaeological 
interest will be found well worthy of 
attentive perusal. 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



OR, 
A Difcourfe of the Sepulchrall 

Urnes lately found in 

F o L 



Together with 

The Garden of 



OR THE 
Quincunciall, Lozenge, or 

Net-work Plantations of the An- 

cients, Artificially, Naturally, 

Myftically Confidered. 

With Sundry Obfervations. 
By Thomas Browne D.of Phyfick. 



L O 3^T>O A/, 

Printed for Hen. Brome at the Signe of the 
Gun in Ivy-lane. 1658. 



TO MY WORTHY AND 

HONOURED FRIEND THOMAS 

LE GROS 1 OF CROSTWICK 

ESQUIRE. 

WHEN the Funerall pyre was out, and 
the last valediction over, men took a 
lasting adieu of their interred Friends, 
little expecting the curiosity of future 
ages should comment upon their ashes, 
and having no old experience of the 
duration of their Reliques,heldno opinion 
of such after-considerations. 

But who knows the fate of his bones, a p om peios 

or how often he is to be buried ? who J uvenes A - 

sia, atque 
hath the Oracle of his ashes, or whether Europa, 

they are to be scattered? The Reliques sedi P sum 

J ^ terra tegit 

of many he like the rumes of *Pompeys, Lybies. 
in all parts of the earth ; And when ^ti^but 
they arrive at your hands, these may Sea be- 
seem to have wandred far, who in a ^5" and* 
direct b and Meridian Travell, have but Greenland. 



THE EPISTLE 



c Brought 
back by 
dm on. 
Plutarch. 



d The great 
U rnes in 
the Hippo- 
drome at 
Rome con- 
ceived to 
resound 
the voices 
of people 
at their 
shows. 



Worthily 
possessed 
by that 
true Gen- 
tleman Sir 
Horatio 
Town- 
shend my 
honored 
Friend. 



few miles of known Earth between your 
self and the Pole. 

That the bones of Theseus should be 
seen again in Athens, was not beyond 
conjecture, and hopeful expectation ; but 
that these should arise so opportunely to 
serve your self, was an hit of fate and 
honour beyond prediction. 

We cannot but wish these Urnes might 
have the effect of Theatrical vessels, and 
great d Hippodrome Urnes in Rome ; to 
resound the acclamations and honour 
due unto you. But these are sad and 
sepulchral Pitchers, which have no joy- 
ful voices ; silently expressing old mor- 
tality, the ruines of forgotten times, and 
can only speak with life, how long in 
this corruptible frame, some parts may 
be uncorruptcd ; yet able to out-last 
bones long unborn, and noblest pyle" 
among us. 

We present not these as any strange 
sight or spectacle unknown to your eyes, 
who have beheld the best of Urnes, and 
noblest variety of Ashes ; Who are your 
self no slender master of Antiquities, 
and can daily command the view of so 
many Imperiall faces' 1 ; Which raiseth 
your thoughts unto old things, and con- 



DEDICATORY. 5 

sideration of times before you, when 
even living men were Antiquities ; when 
the living might exceed the dead, and to 
depart this world, could not be properly 
said, to go unto the f greater number, t Abut ad 
And so run up your thoughts upon the P lures - 
ancient of dayes, the Antiquaries truest 
object, unto whom the eldest parcels are 
young, and earth it self an Infant ; and 
without 8 ^Egyptian account makes but g Which 
small noise in thousands. m * k ,f the 

world so 

We were hinted by the occasion, not manyyears 
catched the opportunity to write of old ' 
things, or intrude upon the Antiquary. 
We are coldly drawn unto discourses of 
Antiquities, who have scarce time before 
us to comprehend new things, or make 
out learned Novelties. But seeing they 
arose as they lay, almost in silence among 
us, at least in short account suddenly 
passed over ; we were very unwilling 
they should die again, and be buried 
twice among us. 

Beside, to preserve the living, and 
make the dead to live, to keep men out 
of their Urnes, and discourse of humane 
fragments in them, is not impertinent 
unto our profession ; whose study is life 
and death, who daily behold examples 



THE EPISTLE 



h Wherein 
M. Dux- 
dale hath 
excellently 
well en- 
deavoured, 
andworthy 
to IK: coun- 
tenanced 
by ingenu- 
ous and 
noble per- 
sons. 



1 In the 

time of 
Henry the 
second. 
(Jambden. 



of mortality, and of all men least need 
artificial memento's, or coffins by our bed 
side, to minde us of our graves. 

'Tis time to observe Occurrences, and 
let nothing remarkable escape us ; The 
Supinity of elder dayes hath left so much 
in silence, or time hath so martyred the 
Records, that the most h industrious 
heads do finde no easie work to erect a 
new Britannia. 

'Tis opportune to look back upon old 
times, and contemplate our Forefathers. 
Great examples grow thin, and to be 
fetched from the passed world. Simpli- 
city flies away, and iniquity comes at 
long strides upon us. We have enough 
to do to make up our selves from present 
and passed times, and the whole stage of 
things scarce scrveth for our instruction. 
A compleat peece of vertue must be 
made up from the Centos of all ages, as 
all the beauties of Greece could make 
but one handsome Venus. 

When the bones of King ArtJtur were 
digged up ', the old race migrjt think, 
they beheld therein some Originals of 
themselves ; Unto these of our Urnes 
none here can pretend relation, and can 
only behold the Rcliques of those persons, 



DEDICATORY. 7 

who in their life giving the Laws unto 
their predecessors, after long obscurity, 
now lye at their mercies. But remem- 
bring the early civility they brought 
upon these Countreys, and forgetting 
long passed mischiefs ; We mercifully 
preserve their bones, and pisse not upon 
their ashes. 

In the offer of these Antiquities we 
drive not at ancient Families, so long 
out-lasted by them ; We are farre from 
erecting your worth upon the pillars of 
your Fore-fathers, whose merits you 
illustrate. We honour your old Virtues, 
conformable unto times before you, which 
are the Noblest Armoury. And having 
long experience of your friendly con- 
versation, void of empty Formality, full 
of freedome, constant and Generous 
Honesty. I look upon you as a Gemme 
of the k Old Rock, and must professe my 
self even to Urne and Ashes, de ru P e 

\r r' -ii_r ii T? j veteri prtz- 

Your ever taithfull friend, stantis- 



and Servant, 

Thomas Browne. 



Norwich, May I. 




riJum quod diattis Qutnauc Jewatur onus 



HYDRIOTAPHIA 

URNE-BURIALL. 

OR, 

A BRIEF DISCOURSE OF THE 

SEPULCHRALL URNES LATELY FOUND 

IN NORFOLK. 

CHAPTER I. 

IN the deep discovery of the Subter- 
ranean world, a shallow part would 
satisfie some enquirers ; who, if two or 
three yards were open about the surface, 
would not care to rake the bowels of 
Potosi a , and regions towards the Centre, a The rich 
Nature hath furnished one part of the Mountain 

* of Peru. 

Earth, and man another. The treasures 
of time lie high, in Urnes, Coynes, and 
Monuments, scarce below the roots of 
some vegetables. Time hath endlesse 
rarities, and shows of all varieties ; which 
reveals old things in heaven, makes new 
discoveries in earth, and even earth it 
self a discovery. That great Antiquity 
America lay buried for thousands of 



IO HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

years ; and a large part of the earth is 
still in the Urne unto us. 

Though if Adam were made out of an 
extract of the Earth, all parts might 
challenge a restitution, yet few have 
returned their bones farre lower then 
they might receive them ; not affecting 
the graves of Giants, under hilly and 
heavy coverings, but content with lesse 
then their ovvne depth, have wished their 
bones might lie soft, and the earth be 
light upon them ; Even such as hope 
to rise again, would not be content with 
centrall interrment, or so desperately to 
place their reliques as to lie beyond dis- 
covery, and in no way to be seen again ; 
which happy contrivance hath made com- 
munication with our forefathers, and left 
unto our view some parts, which they 
never beheld themselves. 

Though earth hath engrossed the 
name yet water hath proved the smartest 
grave ; which in forty dayes swallowed 
almost mankinde, and the living crea- 
tion ; Fishes not wholly escaping, except 
the Salt Ocean were handsomely con- 
tempered by a mixture of the fresh 
Element. 

Many have taken voluminous pains to 



URNE-BURIALL. II 

determine the state of the soul upon dis- 
union ; but men have been most phan- 
tasticall in the singular contrivances of 
their corporall dissolution : whilest the 
sobrest Nations have rested in two 
wayes, of simple inhumation and burning. 
That carnall interment or burying, 
was of the elder date, the old examples 
of Abraham and the Patriarchs are suffi- 
cient to illustrate ; And were without 
competition, if it could be made out, 
that Adam 3 was buried near Damascus, 
or Mount Calvary, according to some 
Tradition. God himself, that buried but 
one, was pleased to make choice of this 
way, collectible from Scripture-expres- 
sion, and the hot contest between Satan 
and the Arch-Angel, about discovering 
the body of Moses. But the practice of 
Burning was also of great Antiquity, and 
of no slender extent. For (not to derive 
the same from Hercules] noble descrip- 
tions there are hereof in the Grecian 
Funerals of Homer, In the formall Obse- 
quies of Patroclus, and Achilles ; and 
somewhat elder in the Theban warre, 
and solemn combustion of Meneceus, and 
Archemorus, contemporary unto Jair the 
Eighth Judge of Israel. Confirmable also 
D 



12 IIYDRIOTAPHIA, 

b o. Gala- among the Trojans, from the Func- 

i>er. lib. i. ra ii Pyre of Hector, burnt before the 

nus"Marel- gates of Troy, And the b burning of Pen- 

linus, tkisilea the Amazonean Queen: and long 

Clumbrates . - . .. j.u 

King of continuance of that practice, in the m- 
Chionia ward Countries of Asia ; while as low as 
near Per- the Reign of Julian, we finde that the 

{"V King of Chionia c burnt the body of his 

'Arnoldis . J 

Montanis Son, and interred the ashes in a silver 

not.inCaes. Urne 
Com men - 

tar. L. L. The same practice extended also farre 

KlrkS West * and besides Herulians, Getes, and 

nus. Thracians, was in use with most of the 

bu'| 2 part Celtce, Sarmatians, Germans, Gauls, Danes, 

i.dejure Swedes, Norwegians; not to omit some 
use thereof among Carf/taginians and 

mortuum Americans: Of greater Antiquity among 

scpdito" 6 ^ e Romans then most opinion, or Pliny 

neve urito. seems to allow. For (beside the old 

Ropim Table Laws of burning 11 or burying 

ascia ne within the City, of making the Funerall 

to! 4.ltem fi fe w ' tri plained wood, or quenching the 

vigeneri fi re with wine.) Manlius the Consul 

(n Livium. burnt the body of his Son : Numa by 

& Alex, ab speciall clause of his Will, was not burnt 

Tira<iueilo. but buried ; And Remus was solemnly 

Ki>scinu.s buried, according to the description of 

cumdemp- . e 

Mero. Ovid . 

" Ultima prolato subdita fiamma rogo. De Fast. Lib. 4. cum Car. 

Neapol. anaptyxi. 



URNE-BURIALL. 13 

Cornelius Sylla was not the first whose 
body was burned in Rome, but of the 
Cornelian Family, which being indif- 
ferently, not frequently used before ; 
from that time spread, and became the 
prevalent practice. Not totally pursued 
in the highest runne of Cremation ; For 
when even Crows 4 were funerally burnt, 
Poppcea the Wife of Nero found a pecu- 
liar grave enterment. Now as all cus- 
tomes were founded upon some bottome 
of Reason, so there wanted not grounds 
for this ; according to severall apprehen- 
sions of the most rationall dissolution. 
Some being of the opinion of Thales, 
that water was the original! of all things, 
thought it most equall to submit unto 
the principle of putrefaction, and con- 
clude in a moist relentment. Others 
conceived it most natural to end in fire, 
as due unto the master principle in the 
composition, according to the doctrine of 
Heraclitus. And therefore heaped up 
large piles, more actively to waft them 
toward that Element, whereby they also 
declined a visible degeneration into 
worms, and left a lasting parcell of their 
composition. 

Some apprehended a purifying virtue 



14 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



therefore 
the In- 



was made 



in fire, refining the grosser commixture, 
and firing out the ^Ethereall particles so 
deeply immersed in it. And such as by 
tradition or rationall conjecture held any 
hint of the finall pyre of all things ; or 
that this Element at last must be too 
hard for all the rest ; might conceive 
most naturally of the fiery dissolution. 
Others pretending no natural grounds, 
politickly declined the malice of enemies 
upon their buried bodies. Which consi- 
deration led Sylla unto this practise ; who 
having thus served the body of Marius, 
could not but fear a retaliation upon his 
own ; entertained after in the Civill wars, 
and revengeful contentions of Rome. 

But as many Nations embraced, and 
many left it indifferent, so others too 
much affected, or strictly declined this 
practice. The Indian Brachmans seemed 
too great friends unto fire, who burnt 
themselves alive, and thought it the 
noblest way to end their dayes in fire ; 
accor ding to the expression of the Indian, 
burning himself at- AtJiens\ in his last 
words upon the pyre unto the amazed 
spectators, T/tus I make my selfe. Im- 
mortal!. 

But the Chaldeans the great Idolaters 



URNE-BURIALL. 15 

of fire, abhorred the burning of their 
carcasses, as a pollution of that Deity. 
The Persian Magi declined it upon the 
like scruple, and being only sollicitous 
about their bones, exposed their flesh to 
the prey of Birds and Dogges. And the 
Persees now in India, which expose their 
bodies unto Vultures, and endure not so 
much as feretra or Beers of Wood, the 
proper Fuell of fire, are led on with such 
niceties. But whether the ancient Ger* 
mans who burned their dead, held any 
such fear to pollute their Deity of Herthus^ 
or the earth, we have no Authentick con- 
jecture. 

The .^Egyptians were afraid of fire, not 
as a Deity, but a devouring Element, 
mercilesly consuming their bodies, and 
leaving too little of them ; and therefore 
by precious Embalments, depositure in 
dry earths, or handsome inclosure in 
glasses, contrived the notablest wayes of 
integrall conservation. And from such 
/Egyptian scruples imbibed by Pytha- 
goras, it may be conjectured that Numa 
and the Pythagoricall Sect first waved the 
fiery solution. 

The Scythians who swore by winde 
and sword, that is, by life and death, 



1 6 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

were so farre from burning their bodies, 
that they declined all interrmcnt, and 
made their graves in the ayr 5 : And the 
Ichthyophagi or fish-eating Nations about 
./Egypt, affected the Sea for their grave : 
Thereby declining visible corruption, 
and restoring the debt of their bodies. 
Whereas the old Heroes in Homer, 
dreaded nothing more than water or 
drowning ; probably upon the old opinion 
of the fiery substance of the soul, only 
extinguishable by that Element ; And 
therefore the Poet emphatically implieth 
the totall destruction in this kinde of 
s Which death, which happened to Ajax Oileus *. 
The old *Balcarians had a peculiar 

rcades ' 

. mode, for they used great Urnes and 

much wood ' but no fire in their burials > 

while they bruised the flesh and bones 
of the dead, crowded them into Urnes, 
and laid heapes of wood upon them. 
And the * Chinois* without cremation or 
urnall interrment of their bodies, make 
use of trees and much burning, while 
they plant a Pine-tree by their grave, and 
burn great numbers of printed draughts 
of slaves and horses over it, civilly con- 
tent with their companies in eflfigie, which 
barbarous Nations exact unto reality. 



URNE-BURIALL. I/ 

Christians abhorred this way of obse- 
quies, and though they stickt not to 
give their bodies to be burnt in their 
lives, detested that mode after death ; 
affecting rather a depositure than ab- 
sumption, and properly submitting unto 
the sentence of God, to return not unto 
ashes but unto dust againe, conformable 
unto the practice of the Patriarchs, the 
interrment of our Saviour, of Peter, Paul, 
and the ancient Martyrs. And so farre 
at last declining promiscuous enterrment 
with Pagans, that some have suffered 
Ecclesiastical censures, for making no Martialis 
scruple thereof. ** 

The Musselman beleevers will never 
admit this fiery resolution. For they 
hold a present trial from their black and 
white Angels in the grave ; which they 
must have made so hollow, that they 
may rise upon their knees. 

The Jewish Nation, though they enter- 
tained the old way of inhumation, yet 
sometimes admitted this practice. For 
the men of Jabesh burnt the body of Saul. 
And by no prohibited practice to avoid 
contagion or pollution, in time of pesti- 
lence, burnt the bodies of their friends ''. h Amos 6. 
And when they burnt not their dead I0- 



1 8 IIYDRIOTAPHIA, 

bodies, yet sometimes used great burn- 
ings neare and about them, deducible 
from the expressions concerning Jefwram, 
SedecJiias, and the sumptuous pyre of 
Asa : And were so little averse from 
1 Sueton. ' Pagan burning, that the Jews lamenting 
yL/'cv *ke death f Casar their friend, and 
revenger on Pompey, frequented the place 
where his body was burnt for many 
nights together. And as they raised 
noble Monuments and Mausoleums for 
k As that their own Nation k , so they were not 
cem'scpul- scru P u l us m erecting some for others, 
chraJ Mo- according to the practice of Daniel, who 

"Shy left that lastin sepulchrall pyle in 
Simon. Echbatana, for the Medean and Persian 
Kings'. 

But even in times of subjection and 
hottest use, they conformed not unto the 
Roniane practice of burning ; whereby 

whereof a . _. . . . 

Jewish the Prophecy was secured concerning 
Priest had t h e body of Christ, that it should not see 

n.1 wcivcs 

thecustcxiy corruption, or a bone should not be 
unto/w- broken ; which we beleeve was also provi- 

fhtis his ,,-.,,. 

dayes. Jos. dentially prevented, from the Souldiers 
Ia spear and nails that past by the little 
bones both in his hands and feet : Not 
of ordinary contrivance, that it should 
not corrupt on the Crosse, according to 



URNE-BURIALL. 19 

the Laws of Romane Crucifixion, or an 
hair of his head perish, though observ- 
able in Jewish customes, to cut the hairs 
of Malefactors. 

Nor in their long co-habitation with 
/Egyptians, crept into a custome of their 
exact embalming, wherein deeply slash- 
ing the muscles, and taking out the 
brains and entrails, they had broken 
the subject of so entire a Resurrection, 
nor fully answered the types of Enoch, 
Eliah, or Jonah, which yet to prevent or 
restore, was of equall facility unto that 
rising power, able to break the fascia- 
tions and bands of death, to get clear 
out of the Cere-cloth, and an hundred 
pounds of oyntment, and out of the 
Sepulchre before the stone was rolled 
from it. 

But though they embraced not this 
practice of burning, yet entertained they 
many ceremonies agreeable unto Greeke 
and Romane obsequies. And he that 
observeth their funerall Feasts, their 
Lamentations at the grave, their musick, 
and weeping mourners ; how they closed 
the eyes of their friends, how they washed, 
anointed, and kissed the dead ; may 
easily conclude these were not meere 



2O HVDRIOTAPHIA, URNE-BURIALL. 

Pagan - Civilities. But whether that 
mournfull burthen, and treble calling out 
after Absalom *, had any reference unto 
tn j t conclamation. and triple valedic- 

Absolom 

Absalom tion, used by other Nations, we hold but 
2. Sam. 18. a waver j n g conjecture. 

Civilians make sepulture but of the 
Law of Nations, others doe naturally 
found it and discover it also in animals. 
They that are so thick skinned as still to 
credit the story of the Phoenix? may say 
something for animall burning : More 
serious conjectures finde some examples 
of sepulture in Elephants, Cranes, the 
Sepulchrall Cells of Pismires and prac- 
tice of Bees ; which civill society carrieth 
out their dead, and hath exequies, if not 
interrments. 



CHAP. II. 

THE Solemnities, Ceremonies, Rites of 
their Cremation or enterrment, so 
solemnly delivered by Authours, we 
shall not disparage our Reader to repeat. 
Only the last and lasting part in their 
Urns, collected bones and Ashes, we 
cannot wholly omit, or decline that Sub- 
ject, which occasion lately presented, in 
some discovered among us. 

In a Field of old Walsingham, not 
many rnoneths past, were digged up 
between fourty and fifty Vrnes, de- 
posited in a dry and sandy soile, not a 
yard deep, nor farre from one another : 
Not all strictly of one figure, but most 
answering these described : Some con- 
taining two pounds of bones, distinguish- 
able in skulls, ribs, jawes, thigh-bones, 
and teeth, with fresh impressions of their 
combustion. Besides the extraneous sub- 
stances, like peeces of small boxes, or 



22 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

combes handsomely wrought, handles of 
small brasse instruments, brazen nippers, 
In one and in one some kinde of Opale V 

mywrthy Ncar the Same P lot f g rOUnd > f r 

friend EK about six yards compasse were digged 

Withtrley U P coa ^ s and incinerated substances, 

of Wai- which begat conjecture that this was the 

im ' Ustrina or place of burning their bodies, 

or some sacrificing place unto the Manes, 

which was properly below the surface of 

the ground, as the Ar& and Altars unto 

the gods and Heroes above it. 

That these were the Vrnes of Romanes 
from the common custome and place 
where they were found, is no obscure 
conjecture, not farre from a Romane 
Garrison, and but five Miles from Bran- 
caster, set down by ancient Record under 
the name of Brannodunum. And where 
the adjoyning Towne, containing seven 
Parishes, in no very different sound, but 
Saxon Termination,still retainsthe Name 
of Burn/lain, which being an early station, 
it is not improbable the neighbour parts 
were filled with habitations, either of 
Romanes themselves, or Brittains Ro- 
manised, which observed the Romane 
customes. 

Nor is it improbable that the Romanes 



URNE-BURIALL. 23 

early possessed this Countrey ; for though 
we meet not with such strict particulars 
of these parts, before the new Institution 
of Constantine, and military charge of 
the Count of the Saxon shore, and that 
about the Saxon Invasions, the Dalma- 
tian Horsemen were in the Garrison of 
Brancaster : Yet in the time of Claudius, 
Vespasian, and Severus, we finde no lesse 
then three Legions dispersed through 
the Province of Brittain. And as high 
as the Reign of Claudius a great over- 
throw was given unto the I cent, by the 
Romane Lieutenant Ostorius. Not long 
after the Countrey was so molested, that 
in hope of a better state, Prasutagus 
bequeathed his Kingdome unto Nero 
and his Daughters ; and Boadicea his 
Queen fought the last decisive Battle 
with Paulinus. After which time and 
Conquest of Agricola the Lieutenant of 
Vespasian, probable it is they wholly 
possessed this Countrey, ordering it into 
Garrisons or Habitations, best suitable 
with their securities. And so some Ro- 
mane Habitations, not improbable in 
these parts, as high as the time of Ves- 
pasian, where the Saxons after seated, 
in whose thin-fill'd Mappes we yet finde 



HVDRIOTAPIIIA, 



m ffomi- 
ttum infi- 
nita mul- 
titude est, 
crtberri- 



fcrt Galli- 
fis const- 
mi Ha. 
CJES. de 
Mlo Gal. 



n In the 

ground of 

my worthy 

Friend 

Kob.Jegon 

Esq. 

wherein 

some 

things con- 

tainedwere 

preserved 

by the most 

worthy Sir 

ll'illiam 

fasten B l . 



the Name of Walsingham. Now if the 
I cent were but Gammadims, Anconians, 
or men that lived in an Angle wedge or 
Elbow of Brittain, according to the 
Originall Etymologic, this countrcy will 
challenge the Emphaticall appellation, 
as most properly making the Elbow or 
I ken of Icenia. 

That Britain was notably populous is 
undeniable, from that expression of C&- 
sar ra . That the Romans themselves were 
early in no small Numbers, Seventy 
Thousand with their associats slain by 
Boadicea, affords a sure account. And 
though many Roman habitations are 
now unknowne, yet some by old works, 
Rampiers, Coynes, and Urnes doe testifie 
their Possessions. Some Urnes have 
been found at Castor, some also about 
Soutlicreake, and not many years past, 
no lesse then ten in a Field at Buxton , 
not near any recorded Garison. Nor is 
it strange to finde Romane Coynes of 
Copper and Silver among us ; of Vespa- 
sian, Trajan, Adrian, Commodus, Anto- 
ninus, Severus, &c. But the greater 
number of Diodesian, Constantine, Con- 
stans, Valens, with many of Victorinus 
Posthumius, Tctricus, and the thirty Ty- 



URNE-BURIALL. 25 

rants in the Reigne of Gallienus ; and 
some as high as Adrianus have been 
found about Tlutford, or Sitomagus, 
mentioned in the itinerary of Antoninus, 
as the way from Venta or Castor unto 
London . But the most frequent dis- From 

, , ,-, , Castor to 

co very is made at the two Casters by Thetford 
Norwich and Yarmouth P. at Burghcastle the R - 

, manes ac- 

and Drancaster\ counted 

thirty two 

miles, and from thence observed not our common road to London, 
but passed by Combretonium ad Ansam, Canonium, C&saromagus , 
&c. by Bretenham, Coggeshall, Chelmeford, Burntwood, &c. 
P Most at Caster by Yarmouth, found in a place called East- 
bloudy-burgh furlong, belonging to M r Thomas Wood, a person of 
civility, industry and knowledge in this way, who hath made 
observation of remarkable things about him, and from whom we 
have received divers Silver and Copper Coynes. 1 Belonging to 
that Noble Gentleman, and true example of worth Sir Ralph Hare 
Baronet, my honoured Friend. 

Besides, the Norman, Saxon and Dan- 
ish peeces of Cuthred, Canutus, William, 
Matilda a , 9 and others, som Brittish Coynes a A peece 
of gold have been dispersedly found ; |fgj? 
And no small number of silver peeces presse said 
near b Norwich; with a rude head upon 



the obverse, and an ill formed horse on ham Castle 
the reverse, with Inscriptions/^. Duro. T. 7nscrip- S 
whether implying Iceni, Durotriges, Tas- tion, Eile 
da, or Trinobantes, we leave to higher b At 
conjecture. Vulgar Chronology will Thorpe. 
have Norwich Castle as old as Julius 



26 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



Casar ; but his distance from these parts, 
and its Got/tick form of structure, abridg- 
eth such Antiquity. The British Coyns 
afford conjecture of early habitation in 
these parts, though the City of Norwich 
arose from the mines of Venta^ and 
though perhaps not without some habi- 
tation before, was enlarged, builded, and 
nominated by the Saxons. In what bulk 
or populosity it stood in the old East- 
angle Monarchy, tradition and history 
are silent. Considerable it was in the 
Danish Eruptions, when Sueno burnt 
TJietford and Norwich*, and Ulfketel the 
Governour thereof, was able to make 
some resistance, and after endeavoured 
to burn the Danish Navy. 

How the Romanes left so many Coynes 
in Countreys of their Conquests, seems 
of hard resolution, except we consider 
how they buried them under ground, 
when upon barbarous invasions they were 
fain to desert their habitations in most 
part of their Empire, and the strictnessc 
of their laws forbidding to transfer them 
11 Plut. in to any other uses ; Wherein the d Spartans 
were singular, who to make their Copper 
money uselesse, contempercd it with 
vinegar. That the Brittains left any, 



c Brantp- 
ton Abbas 
Journal' 
Icnsis, 



URNE-BURIALL. 2/ 

some wonder ; since their money was 
iron, and Iron rings before Ccesar; and 
those of after stamp by permission, and 
but small in bulk and bignesse ; that so 
few of the Saxons remain, because over- 
come by succeeding Conquerours upon 
the place, their Coynes by degrees passed 
into other stamps, and the marks of 
after ages. 

Then the time of these Urnes depo- 
sited, or precise Antiquity of these Re- 
liques, nothing of more uncertainty. For 
since the Lieutenant of Claudius seems 
to have made the first progresse into these 
parts, since Boadicea was overthrown by 
the Forces of Nero, and Agricola put a 
full end to these Conquests ; it is not 
probable the Countrey was fully gar- 
rison'd or planted before ; and therefore 
however these Urnes might be of later 
date, not likely of higher Antiquity. 

And the succeeding Emperours de- 
sisted not from their Conquests in these 
and other parts ; as testified by history 
and medall inscription yet extant. The 
Province of Brittain in so divided a 
distance from Rome, beholding the faces 
of many Imperiall persons, and in large 
account no fewer then Cczsar, Claudius, 
E 



28 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

Brttannicus, Vespasian, Titus, Adrian, 

Severus, Commodus, Geta, and Caracal/a. 

A great obscurity herein, because no 

medall or Emperours Coyne enclosed, 

which might denote the date of their en- 

terrments. Observable in many Urnes, 

Sio-Mi and found in those of Spittle Fields by 

Survey of London, which contained the Coynes of 

London. . 

Claudius, Vespasian, Commodus, Anto- 
ninus, attended with Lacrymatories, 
Lamps, Bottles of Liquor, and other 
appurtenancesofaffectionatesuperstition, 
which in these rurall interrements were 
wanting. 

Some uncertainty there is from the 
period or term of burning, or the cessa- 
tion of that practise. Macrobius affirmeth 
it was disused in his dayes. But most 
agree, though without authentick record, 
that it ceased with the Antonini. Most 
safely to be understood after the Reigne 
of those Emperours, which assumed the 
name of Antoninus, extending unto 
Heliogabalus. Not strictly after Marcus; 
For about fifty years later we finde the 
magnificent burning, and consecration 
of Severus ; and if we so fix this period 
or cessation, these Urncs will challenge 
above thirteen hundred years. 



URNE-BURIALL. 29 

But whether this practise was onely 
then left by Emperours and great persons, 
or generally about Rome, and not in 
other Provinces, we hold no authentick 
account. For after Tertulltan, in the 
dayes of Minucius it was obviously ob- 
jected upon Christians, that they con- 
demned the practise of burning e . And c Exec-ran- 
we finde a passage in Sidonius* which ^ ro s~- 

iir- dam- 

asserteth that practise in France unto a nar.t igni- 
lower account. And perhaps not fully "" l ra ^' n 
disused till Christianity fully established, Mm. in 
which gave the finall extinction to these f s'i<fon A- 
sepulchrall Bonefires. poUinaris. 

Whether they were the bones of men 
or women or children, no authentick 
decision from ancient custome in distinct 
places of buriall. Although not impro- 
bably conjectured, that the double Se- 
pulture or burying place of Abraham*, * Det mild 
had in it such intension. But from exility f P cl ' incaj:! - 

J dufhcem. 

of bones, thinnesse of skulls, smallnesse Gen. 23. 
of teeth, ribbes, and thigh-bones ; not 
improbable that many thereof were 
persons of minor age, or women. Con- 
firmable also from things contained in 
them : In most were found substances 
resembling Combes, Plates like Boxes, 
fastened with Iron pins, and handsomely 



30 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

ovenvrought like the necks or Bridges of 
Musicall Instruments, long brasse plates 
overwrought like the handles of neat 
implements, brazen nippers to pull away 
hair, and in one a kinde of Opale yet 
maintaining a blewish colour. 

Now that they accustomed to burn or 
bury with them, things wherein they ex- 
celled, delighted, or which were dear unto 
them, either as farewells unto all pleasure, 
or vain apprehension that they might 
use them in the other world, is testified 
by all Antiquity. Observable from the 
Gemme or Berill Ring upon the finger 
of Cynthia, the Mistresse of Propertius, 
when after her Funerall Pyre her Ghost 
appeared unto him. And notably illus- 
trated from the Contents of that Romane 
<! Vigencri Urne preserved by Cardinal! Farnese*, 
'l"Tiv ' * wherein besides great number of Gemmes 
with heads of Gods and Goddesses, were 
found an Ape of Agath, a Grashoppcr, 
an Elephant of Ambre, a Crystal 1 Ball, 
three glasses, two Spoones, and six Nuts 
of Crystal!. And beyond the content of 
Urnes, in the Monument of Childerick 
' Chifflet the first h , and fourth King from Pltara- 
"chl"icr mond, casually discovered three years 
past at Tournay, restoring unto the world 



URNE-BURIALL. 31 

much gold richly adorning his Sword, 
two hundred Rubies, 10 many hundred 
Imperial Coyns, three hundred golden 
Bees, the bones and horseshoe of his 
horse enterred with him, according to 
the barbarous magnificence of those dayes 
in their sepulchral Obsequies. Although 
if we steer by the conjecture of many 
and Septuagint expression ; some trace 
thereof may be found even with the 
ancient Hebrews, not only from the 
Sepulcrall treasure of David, but the 
circumcision knives which Josuah also 
buried. 

Some men considering the contents of 
these Vrnes, lasting peeces and toyes 
included in them, and the custome of 
burning with many other Nations, might 
somewhat doubt whether all Vrnes found 
among us, were properly R cwawReliques, 
or some not belonging unto our Brittisli, 
Saxon, or Danish Forefathers. 

In the form of Buriall among the 
ancient Brittains, the large Discourses 
of Cczsar, Tacitus, and Strabo are silent : 
For the discovery whereof, with other 
particulars, we much deplore the losse of 
that Letter which Cicero^ expected or 
received from his Brother Quintus, as a 



32 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

resolution of Brittish customcs ; or the 
account which might have been made by 
Scribonius Largus the Physician, accom- 
panying the Emperour Claudius, who 
might have also discovered that frugal 1 
1 Dionis Bit' of the Old Brittains, which in the 
bignes.se of a Bean could satisfie their 

per Xifhi b 

fin. in thirst and hunger. 

But that the Druids and ruling Priests 
used to burn and bury, is expressed by 
Pomponius ; That Bellinus the Brother 
of tirennus, and King of Brittains was 
burnt, is acknowledged by Pofyctorus, as 
also by A mandus Zicrexensis in Hisforia, 
and Pineda in his Univcrsa historia. 
Spanish. That they held that practise 
in Gallia, Cccsar expresly dclivcrcth. 
Whether the Brittains (probably de- 
scended from them, of like Religion, 
Language and Manners) did not some- 
times make use of burning ; or whether 
at least such as were after civilized unto 
the Romane life and manners, conformed 
not unto this practise, we have no his- 
toricall assertion or deniall. But since 
from the account of Tacitus the Romanes 
early wrought so much civility upon the 
Brittish stock, that they brought them to 
build Temples, to wear the Gownc, and 



URNE-BURIALL. 33 

study the Romane Laws and language, 
that they conformed also unto their reli- 
gious rites and customes in burials, 
seems no improbable conjecture. 

That burning the dead was used in 
Sarmatia, is affirmed by Gaguinus, that 
the Sueons and Gothlanders used to burne 
their Princes and great persons, is delivered 
by Saxo and Olaus ; that this was the 
old Germane practise, is also asserted by 
Tacitus. And though we are bare in 
historicall particulars of such obsequies 
in this Island, or that the Saxons^ Jutes, 
and Angles burnt their dead, yet came 
they from parts where 'twas of ancient 
practise ; the Germanes using it, from 
whom they were descended. And even 
in Jutland and Sleswick in Anglia Cym- 
brica, Vrnes with bones were found not Roisold, 
many years before us. *tS!**'iU 

But the Danish and Northern Nations tyde. 
have raised an &ra or point of compute 
from their Custome of burning their 
dead : Some deriving it from Unguinus, 
some from FrotJio the great ; who or- 
dained by Law, that Princes and Chief 
Commanders should be committed unto 
the fire, though the common sort had 
the common grave enterrment. So 



34 HYDRIOTAPIIIA, 

Starkatterus that old Heroe was burnt, 
and Ringo royally burnt the body of 
Harald the King slain by him. 

What time this custome generally ex- 
pired in that Nation, we discern no 
assured period ; whether it ceased before 
Christianity, or upon their Conversion, 
by Ansgarius the Gaul in the time of 
Ludovicus Pius the Sonne of diaries the 
great, according to good computes ; or 
whether it might not be used by some 
persons, while for a hundred and eighty 
years Paganisme and Christianity were 
promiscuously embraced among them, 
there is no assured conclusion. About 
which times the Danes were busie in 
England^ and particularly infested this 
Countrey : Where many Castles and 
strong holds, were built by them, or 
against them, and great number of names 
and Families still derived from them. 
But since this custome was probably 
disused before their Invasion or Con- 
quest, and the Romanes confessedly 
practised the same, since their possession 
of this Island, the most assured account 
will fall upon the Romanes, or Brittains 
Romanized. 

However certain it is, that Vrncs con- 



URNE-BURIALL. 35 

ceived of no Romane Originall, are often 
digged up both in Norway, and Denmark, 
handsomely described, and graphically 
represented by the Learned Physician 
Wormius \ And in some parts of Den- l Olai War- 
mark in no ordinary number, as stands ^J^f" 
delivered by Authours exactly describing Antiqui- 
those Countreys m . And they contained 



not only bones, but many other sub- Cyprimin 

A , T7- f Annal. 

stances m them, as Knives, peeces of 



Iron, Brasse and Wood, and one of Nor- urnis adeo 

.. . . T . abundabat 

waye a brasse guilded Jewes-harp. collis; & c . 

Nor were they confused or carelesse 
in disposing the noblest sort, while they 
placed large stones in circle about the 
Vrnes, or bodies which they interred : 
Somewhat answerable unto the Monu- 
ment of RollricJi stones in England*, or n In Ox- 
sepulcrall Monument probably erected ^Sden! 
by Rollo, who after conquered Normandy. 
Where 'tis not improbable somewhat 
might be discovered. Mean while to what 
Nation or person belonged that large 
Vrne found at AsJiburie ", containing In Che- 
mighty bones, and a Buckler ; What ^'de^e- 
those large Vrnes found at little Massing- bus Albio- 
Jiam?, or why the Anglesea Urnes are pjn'Nor- 
placed with their mouths downward, folk. Hoi- 

, . , liiti'shead. 

remains yet undiscovered. 



CHAP. III. 

PLAYSTERED and whited Sepulchres, 
were anciently affected in cadaverous, 
and corruptive Burials ; And the rigid 
Jews were wont to garnish the Sepul- 
1 Mat. 23. chres of the a righteous ; Ulysses in 
b Eurifi- Heciiba b cared not how meanly he lived, 
so he might finde a noble Tomb after 
death. Great Persons affected great 
Monuments, And the fair and larger 
Urnes contained no vulgar ashes, which 
makes that disparity in those which 
time discovereth among us. The present 
Urnes were not ofone capacity, the largest 
containing above a gallon, Some not 
much above half that measure ; nor all 
of one figure, wherein there is no strict 
conformity, in the same or different 
Countreys ; Observable from those re- 
presented by Casalius, Bosio, and others, 
though all found in Italy : While many 



IIYDRIOTAPHIA, URNE-BURIALL. 37 

have handles, ears, and long necks, but 
most imitate a circular figure, in a sphe- 
ricall and round composure; whether from 
any mystery, best duration or capa- 
city, were but a conjecture. But the 
common form with necks was a proper 
figure, making our last bed like our first ; 
nor much unlike the Urnes of our Nati- 
vity, while we lay in the nether part of 
the Earth c , and inward vault of our c Psa. 63. 
Microcosme. Many Urnes are red, these 
but of a black colour, somewhat smooth, 
and dully sounding, which begat some 
doubt, whether they were burnt, or only 
baked in Oven or Sunne : According to 
the ancient way, in many bricks, tiles, pots, 
and testaceous works ; and as the word 
testa is properly to be taken, when occur- 
ring without addition : And chiefly in- 
tended by Pliny, when he commendeth 
bricks and tiles of two years old, and to 
make them in the spring. Nor only 
these concealed peeces, but the open 
magnificence of Antiquity, ran much in 
the Artifice of Clay. Hereof the house 
of Mausolus was built, thus old Jupiter 
stood in the Capitoll, and the Statua of 
Hercules made in the Reign of Tarquinius 
Prisats, was extant in Plinies dayes. 



38 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

And such as declined burning or Funerall 
Urnes, affected Coffins of Clay, accord- 
ing to the mode of Pythagoras, and pre- 
ferred by Varro. But the spirit of great 
ones was above these circumscriptions, 
affecting copper, silver, gold, and Por- 
pliyrie Urnes, wherein Severus lay, after a 
serious view and sentence on that which 
should contain him d . Some of these 
Urnes were thought to have been silvered 
over, from sparklings in several pots, 
w i tn sma U Tinsell parcels ; uncertain 
whether from the earth, or the first mix- 
ture in them. 

Among these Urnes we could obtain 
no good account of their coverings ; Only 
one seemed arched over with some kinde 
of brickwork. Of those found at Button 
some were covered with flints, some in 
other parts with tiles, those at Yarmouth 
Caster, were closed with Roinane bricks. 
And some have proper earthen covers 
adapted and fitted to them. But in the 
Homericall Urne of Patrodus, whatever 
was the solid Tegument, we findc the 
immediate covering to be a purple pcecc 
of silk : And such as had no covers 
might have the earth closely pressed 
into them, after which disposure were 



URNE-BURIALL. 39 

probably some of these, wherein we 
found the bones and ashes half mor- 
tered unto the sand and sides of the 
Urne ; and some long roots of Quich, or 
Dogs-grass wreathed about the bones. 

No Lamps, included Liquors, Lachry- 
matories, or Tear-bottles attended these 
rurall Urnes, either as sacred unto the 
Manes, or passionate expressions of their 
surviving friends. While with rich flames, 
and hired tears they solemnized their 
Obsequies, and in the most lamented 
Monuments made one part of their In- 
scriptions e . Some finde sepulchrall Ves- e Cum la- 
sels containing liquors, which time hath ^"r" ^' 
incrassated into gellies. For beside these 
Lachrymatories, notable Lamps, with 
Vessels of Oyles and Aromaticall Liquors 
attended noble Ossuaries. And some yet 
retaining a * Vinosity and spirit in them, * Lazius. 
which if any have tasted they have farre 
exceeded the Palats of Antiquity. 12 Li- 
quors not to be computed by years of t About 
annuall Magistrates, but by great con- five hun- 
junctions 13 and the fatall periods of King- 



domes f . The draughts of Consulary date, 8 

. . , -, . Optnnma- 

were but crude unto these, and Upimian* 



Wine but in the must unto them. rum c 

In sundry Graves and Sepulchres, we Petron. 



4O HVDRIOTAPHIA, 

meet with Rings, Coynes, and Chalices ; 

Ancient frugality was so severe, that they 

allowed no gold to attend the Corps, but 

only that which served to fasten their 

h 12. Ta- teeth' 1 . Whether the Opaline stone in 

!/"Vr Xi *kis Urne were burnt upon the finger of 

satro. the dead, or cast into the fire by some 

nfmadiii- affectionate friend, it will consist with 

to.astquoi either custome. But other incinerable 

a vin cti nt " substances were found so fresh, that they 

erunt, could feel no sindge from fire. These 

'sepeHre '& upon view were judged to be wood, but 

urerc, se sinking in water and tried by the fire, we 

found them to be bone or Ivory. In 

their hardncsse and yellow colour they 

most resembled Box, which in old cx- 

1 Plin. /. pressions found the Epithete ' of Eternall, 

Ki'Ka^travi anc * P erna P s m sucn conservatories might 

numeral have passed uncorrupted. 

tus^ ' That Bay-leaves were found green in 

k Sun'us. the Tomb of S. Humbert k , after an hun- 
dred and fifty years, was looked upon as 
miraculous. Remarkable it was unto old 
Spectators, that the Cypresse of the 
Temple of Diana, lasted so many hun- 
dred years : The wood of the Ark and 
Olive Rod of Aaron were older at the 
Captivity. But the Cypresse of the Ark 
of Noah, was the greatest vegetable 



URNE-BURIALL. 41 

Antiquity, if Josephus were not deceived, 
by some fragments of it in his dayes. 
To omit the Moore-logs, and Firre-trees 
found under-ground in many parts of 
England ; the undated ruines of windes, 
flouds or earthquakes ; and which in 
Flanders still shew from what quarter 
they fell, as generally lying in a North- 
East position l . ' Gorop. 

But though we found not these peeces 
to be Wood, according to first apprehen- 
sion, yet we missed not altogether of 
some woody substance ; For the bones 
were not so clearly pickt, but some coals 
were found amongst them ; A way to 
make wood perpetuall, and a fit associat 
for metall, whereon was laid the founda- 
tion of the great Ephesian Temple, and 
which were made the lasting tests of old 
boundaries and Landmarks ; Whilest 
we look on these, we admire not Obser- 
vations of Coals found fresh, after four 
hundred years m . In a long deserted m Of Be- 
habitation n , even Egge-shels have been | 
found fresh, not tending to corruption. technia. 

In the Monument of King Childerick, 
the Iron Reliques were found all rusty 
and crumbling into peeces. But our 
little Iron pins which fastened the Ivory 



42 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

works, held well together, and lost not 
their Magneticall quality, though wanting 
a tenacious moisture for the firmer union 
of parts, although it be hardly drawn into 
fusion, yet that metall soon submitteth 
unto rust and dissolution. In the brazen 
peeces we admired not the duration but 
the frcedome from rust, and ill savour ; 
upon the hardest attrition, but now ex- 
posed unto the piercing Atomes of ayre ; 
in the space of a few moneths, they begin 
to spot and betray their green entrals. We 
conceive not these Urnes to have de- 
scended thus naked as they appear, or to 
have entrcd their graves without the old 
habit of flowers. The Urne of Philo- 
pccinen was so laden with flowers and 
ribbons, that it afforded no sight of it 
self. The rigid Lycurgus allowed Olive 
and Myrtle. T\ie Athenians might fairly 
except against the practise of Dcmocritus 
to be buried up in honey ; as fearing to 
embezzle a great commodity of their 
Countrey, and the best of that kinde in 
Europe. But Plato seemed too frugally 
politick, who allowed no larger Monu- 
ment then would contain for Heroick 
Verses, and designed the most barren 
ground for sepulture : Though we cannot 



URNE-BURIALL. 43 

commend the goodnesse of that sepul- 
chrall ground, which was set at no higher 
rate then the mean salary of Judas. 
Though the earth had confounded the 
ashes of these Ossuaries, yet the bones 
were so smartly burnt, that some thin 
plates of brasse were found half melted 
among them : whereby we apprehend 
they were not of the meanest carcasses, 
perfunctorily fired as sometimes in mili- 
tary, and commonly in pestilence, burn- 
ings ; or after the manner of abject corps, 
hudled forth and carelesly burnt, with- 
out the Esquiline Port at Rome ; which 
was an affront continued upon Tiberius, 
while they but half burnt his body *, and * Sueton. 
in the Amphitheatre, according to the '^jjjf ; 
custome in notable Malefactors ; where- phitheatro 
as Nero seemed not so much to feare his }""f,"~ 
death, as that his head should be cut off, not. Cas- 
and his body not burnt entire. 

Some finding many fragments of sculs 
in these Urnes, suspected a mixture of 
bones ; In none we searched was there 
cause of such conjecture, though some- 
times they declined not that practise ; 
The ashes of * Domitian were mingled * Sueton. 
with those of Julia, of Achilles with those 
of Patroclus : All Urnes contained not 
F 



44 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



S. the 
most learn- 
ed and 
worthy M r 
M. Citsau- 
bon upon 
Antoninus. 
d Sic eri- 
muscuntti, 
&c. Ergo 
dum vivi- 
mus viva- 
mus. 

'Aj'xwvjjv 
ira.itiv. A 
barbarous 
pastime at 
Feasts, 
when men 
stood upon 
a rolling 
Globe, 
with their 
necks in a 
Rope, and 
a knife in 
their 
hands, 
ready to 
cut it when 
the stone 
was rolled 
away, 
wherein if 
theyfailed, 
they lost 
their lives 
to the 
Inuphter of 
their spec- 
tators. 
Atktnitus. 



single ashes ; Without confused burn- 
ings they affectionately compounded 
their bones ; passionately endeavouring 
to continue their living Unions. And 
when distance of death denied such con- 
junctions, unsatisfied affections conceived 
some satisfaction to be neighbours in the 
grave, to lye Urne by Urne, and touch 
but in their names. And many were so 
curious to continue their living relations, 
that they contrived large, and family 
Urnes, wherein the Ashes of their nearest 
friends and kindred might successively 
be received c , at least some parcels there- 
of, while their collaterall memorials lay 
in minor vessels about them. 

Antiquity held too light thoughts from 
Objects of mortality, while some drew 
provocatives of mirth from Anatomies' 1 , 
and Juglers shewed tricks with Skeletons. 
When Fidlers made not so pleasant mirth 
as Fencers, and men could sit with quiet 
stomacks while hanging was plaied ' 
before them. Old considerations made 
few mementos by sculs and bones upon 
their monuments. In the ^Egyptian 
Obelisks and Hieroglyphicall figures, it 
is not easie to meet with bones. The 
sepulchrall Lamps speak nothing lesse 



URNE-BURIALL. 45 

then sepulture ; and in their literal! 
draughts prove often obscene and antick 
peeces : Where we finde D.M. { it is ob- tDUs ma- 
vious to meet with sacrificing patera's, ntbus - 
and vessels of libation, upon old sepul- 
chrall Monuments. In the Jewish Hy- 
pog&um g and subterranean Cell at Rome, Bosh. 
was little observable beside the variety 
of Lamps, and frequent draughts of the 
holy Candlestick. In authentick draughts 
of Anthony and Jerome, we meet with 
thigh-bones and deaths heads ; but the 
cemiteriall Cels of ancient Christians and 
Martyrs, were filled with draughts of 
Scripture Stories ; not declining the 
flourishes of Cypresse, Palmes, and Olive ; 
and the mysticall Figures of Peacocks, 
Doves and Cocks. But iterately affect- 
ing the pourtraits of Enoch, Lazarus, 
Jonas, and the Vision of Ezechiel, as 
hopefull draughts, and hinting imagery 
of the Resurrection ; which is the life of 
the grave, and sweetens our habitations 
in the Land of Moles and Pismires. 

Gentile inscriptions precisely delivered 
the extent of mens lives, seldome the 
manner of their deaths, which history it 
self so often leaves obscure in the records 
of memorable persons. There is scarce 



4 6 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



h Pausan. 
in Atticis. 

1 Lamprid. 

in vi f. 

Alexand. 

Seven. 

k Trajanus. 

Dion. 



Plut. in 
vit. Mar- 
eelli. 



any Philosopher but dies twice or thrice 
in Laertius ; Nor almost any life with- 
out two or three deaths in Plutarch', 
which makes the tragicall ends of noble 
persons more favourably resented by 
compassionate Readers, who finde some 
relief in the Election of such differences. 

The certainty of death is attended with 
uncertainties, in time, manner, places. 
The variety of Monuments hath often 
obscured true graves : and CenotapJis 
confounded Sepulchres. For beside their 
reall Tombs, many have found honorary 
and empty Sepulchres. The variety of 
Homers Monuments made him of various 
Countreys. Euripides h had his Tomb 
in Africa, but his sepulture in Macedonia. 
And Severus 1 found his real Sepulchre 
in Rome, but his empty grave in Gallia. 

He that lay in a golden Urne k emi- 
nently above the Earth, was not like to 
finde the quiet of these bones. Many of 
these Urnes were broke by a vulgar dis- 
coverer in hope of inclosed treasure. 
The ashes of Marcellus ' were lost above 
ground, upon the like account. Where 
profit hath prompted, no age hath wanted 
such miners. For which the most bar- 
barous Expilators found the most civill 



URNE-BURIALL. 47 

Rhetorick. Gold once out of the earth The Corn- 
is no more due unto it ; What was un- 
reasonably committed to the ground is 
reasonably resumed from it : Let Monu- 
ments and rich Fabricks, not Riches sepulchrall 
adorn mens ashes. The commerce of ^assiod'or. 
the living is not to be transferred unto Var. 1. 4. 
the dead : It is not injustice to take 
that which none complains to lose, and 
no man is wronged where no man is 
possessor. 

What virtue yet sleeps in this terra 
damnata and aged cinders, were petty 
magick to experiment ; These crumbling 
reliques and long-fired particles super- 
annate such expectations : Bones, hairs, a. Britan- 
nails, and teeth of the dead, were the niahodie 

. earn atto- 

treasures of old Sorcerers. In vain we nitt cde- 
revive such practices ; Present super- brat tant \ s 

.... !: ceremomiS) 

stition too visibly perpetuates the folly u t dedisse 
of our Fore-fathers, wherein unto old p , ers . ls '., 

den possit. 

Observation this Island was so compleat, Plin. 1. 29. 
that it might have instructed Persia. 

Plato's historian of the other world, 
lies twelve dayes incorrupted, while his 
soul was viewing the large stations of 
the dead. How to keep the corps seven 
dayes from corruption by anointing and 
washing, without exenteration, were an 



4 8 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



Tobc 
seen in 
Licet. cU 
retonditis 
veterum 



b Topygra- 
phitfRoma 
ex Martia- 
no. Erat 
&* vas 
ustrinum 
appellation 
quod in eo 
cadaver a 
combure- 
rentur. 
Cap. de 
Campo 
Esquilino. 



hazardable peece of art, in our choisest 
practise. How they made distinct sepa- 
ration of bones and ashes from fiery ad- 
mixture, hath found no historicall solu- 
tion. Though they seemed to make a 
distinct collection, and overlooked not 
Pyrrhus his toe c . Some provision they 
might make by fictile Vessels, Coverings, 
Tiles, or flat stones, upon and about the 
body. And in the same Field, not farre 
from these Urnes, many stones were 
found under ground, as also by carefull 
separation of extraneous matter, com- 
posing and raking up the burnt bones 
with forks, observable in that notable 
lamp of Galuanus. Martianus*, who had 
the sight of the Vas Ustrinum, or vessel 1 
wherein they burnt the dead, found in 
the Esquiline Field at Rome, might have 
afforded clearer solution. But their in- 
satisfaction herein begat that remarkable 
invention in the Funerall Pyres of some 
Princes, by incombustible sheets made 
with a texture of Asbestos, incremable 
flax, or Salamanders wool, which pre- 
served their bones and ashes incom mixed. 
How the bulk of a man should sink 
into so few pounds of bones and ashes, 
may seem strange unto any who con- 



URNE-BURIALL. 49 

siders not its constitution, and how slen- 
der a masse will remain upon an open 
and urging fire of the carnall composi- 
tion. Even bones themselves reduced 
into ashes, do abate a notable propor- 
tion. And consisting much of a volatile 
salt, when that is fired out, make a light 
kind of cinders. Although their bulk be 
disproportionate to their weight, when 
the heavy principle of Salt is fired out, 
and the Earth almost only remaineth ; 
Observable in sallow, which makes more 
Ashes then Oake ; and discovers the 
common fraud of selling Ashes by mea- 
sure, and not by ponderation. 

Some bones make best Skeletons 3 , "Old bones 
some bodies quick and speediest ashes : acc rdm s 

- 1 r to Lyserus. 

Who would expect a quick flame from Those of 

Hydropicall Heraclitus ? The poysoned ^"^J^'" 

Souldier when his Belly brake, put out tall nor fat 

two pyres in Plutarch*. But in the plague ^cS- 

of Athens*, one private pyre served two bus. 

or three Intruders ; and the Saracens Grace '^ 

burnt in large heaps, by the King of Thucy- 

Castile A > shewed how little Fuell sufficeth. & Laurent 

Though the Funerall pyre of Patrodus Valla. 

took up an hundred foot e , a peece of an e ' 
old boat burnt Pompey \ And if the 
burthen of Isaac were sufficient for an 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



' Speran. 
Alb. Over. 



B The 
brain. 
Hippo- 
crates. 



d Amos 
2. I. 

As Arte- 
misia of 
her Hus- 
band Mau- 
solus. 



holocaust, a man may carry his owne 
pyre. 

From animals are drawn good burning 
lights, and good medicines f against burn- 
ing ; Though the seminall humour seems 
of a contrary nature to fire, yet the body 
compleated proves a combustible lump, 
wherein fire findes flame even from bones, 
and some fuell almost from all parts. 
Though the g Metropolis of humidity 
seems least disposed unto it, which might 
render the sculls of these Urnes lesse 
burned then other bones. But all flies 
or sinks before fire almost in all bodies : 
When the common ligament is dissolved, 
the attenuable parts ascend, the rest sub- 
side in coal, calx or ashes. 

To burn the bones of the King of 
*' Edom for Lyme, seems no irrationall 
ferity ; But to drink of the ashes of dead 
relations', a passionate prodigality. He 
that hath the ashes of his friend, hath an 
everlasting treasure : where fire taketh 
leave, corruption slowly enters ; In bones 
well burnt, fire makes a wall against it 
self; experimented in copels, and tests 
of metals, which consist of such ingre- 
dients. What the Sun compoundeth, fire 
analyseth, not transmuteth. That de- 



URNE-BURIALL. 5 1 

vouring agent leaves almost allwayes a 
morsell for the Earth, whereof all things 
are but a colonie ; and which, if time 
permits, the mother Element will have in 
their primitive masse again. 

He that looks for Urnes and old 
sepulchrall reliques, must not seek them 
in the ruines of Temples : where no 
Religion anciently placed them. These 
were found in a Field, according to an- 
cient custome, in noble or private buriall ; 
the old practise of the Canaanites, the 
Family of Abraham, and the burying 
place offosua, in the borders of his pos- 
sessions ; and also agreeable unto Roman 
practice to bury by high-wayes, where- 
by their Monuments were under eye : 
Memorials of themselves, and memento's 
of mortality into living passengers ; 
whom the Epitaphs of great ones were 
fain to beg to stay and look upon them. 
A language though sometimes used, not 
so proper in Church-Inscriptions a . The *Sistevia- 
sensible Rhetorick of the dead, to exem- tor ' 
plarity of good life, first admitted the 
bones of pious men, and Martyrs within 
Church-wals ; which in succeeding ages 
crept into promiscuous practise. While 
Constantine was peculiarly favoured to 



52 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

be admitted unto the Church Porch ; 
and the first thus buried in England was 
Kink. in the dayes of Cuthred" 

Christians dispute how their bodies 
should lye in the grave. In urnall en- 
terrment they clearly escaped this Con- 
troversie : Though we decline the Reli- 
gious consideration, yet in cemiteriall 
and narrower burying places, to avoid 
confusion and crosse position, a certain 
posture were to be admitted ; Which 
even Pagan civility observed, The Per- 
sians lay North and South, The Mega- 
rians and P/UKntcians placed their heads 
to the East : The Atlienians, some think, 
towards the West, which Christians still 
retain. And Beda will have it to be the 
posture of our Saviour. That he was 
crucified with his face towards the West, 
we will not contend with tradition and 
probable account ; But we applaud not 
the hand of the Painter, in exalting his 
Crosse so high above those on either 
side ; since hereof we finde no authentick 
account in history, and even the crosses 
found by Helena pretend no such dis- 
tinction from longitude or dimension. 

To be knav'd " out of our graves, to 
have our sculs made drinking-bowls, and 



URNE-BURIALL. 53 

our bones turned into Pipes, to delight 
and sport our Enemies, are Tragicall 
abominations, escaped in burning Burials. 
Urnall enterrments, and burnt Reliques 
lye not in fear of worms, or to be an 
heritage for Serpents ; In carnal sepul- 
ture, corruptions seem peculiar unto 
parts, and some speak of snakes out of 
the spinall marrow. But while we sup- 
pose common wormes in graves, 'tis not 
easie to finde any there ; few in Church- 
yards above a foot deep, fewer or none 
in Churches, though in fresh decayed 
bodies. Teeth, bones, and hair, give the 
most lasting defiance to corruption. In 
an Hydropicall body ten years buried in 
a Church-yard, we met with a fat concre- 
tion, where the nitre of the Earth, and 
the salt and lixivious liquor of the body, 
had coagulated large lumps of fat, into 
the consistence of the hardest castle- 
soap 16 ; whereof part remaineth with us. 
After a battle with the Persians the 
Roman Corps decayed in few dayes, 
while the Persian bodies remained dry 
and uncorrupted. Bodies in the same 
ground do not uniformly dissolve, nor 
bones equally moulder ; whereof in the 
opprobrious disease we expect no long 



54 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

e f<>- duration. The body of the Marquesse 

mas Mar- r 

quesse of of Dorset seemed sound and handsomely 

Dorset, cereclothed, that after seventy eight 

whose ' * 

body being years was found uncorrupted c . Common 

buned Tombs preserve not beyond powder : A 

1530, was . ' 

1608 upon firmer consistence and compage of parts 

o^no'flhl mj g ht b 6 expected from Arefaction, 

Cerecloth deep buriall or charcoal. The greatest 

fecund" Antiquities of mortall bodies may remain 

nothing in putrified bones, whereof, though we 

thTflSh 1 ' take not in the P illar of L ts wife or 

not har- Metamorphosis of Ortelius d , some may 

incolour" be older then Pyramids, in the putrified 

proper- Reliques of the generall inundation. 

so'ftnesse When Alexander opened the Tomb of 
Cyrus, the remaining bones discovered 

corps his proportion, whereof urnall fragments 

newly to be afford but a bad conjecture, and have 

interred. . .. J 

Burtons this disadvantage of grave enterrments, 

descript. of that they leave us ignorant of most per- 
sonall discoveries. For since bones afford 



^ In his no t on iy rectitude and stability, but figure 
unto the body ; It is no impossible 



That Physiognomy to conjecture at fleshy 

skeleton of appcndencies ; and after what shape the 

a " . h r ! e muscles and carnous parts might hang 

made by in their full consistences. A full spread 

. Cariola * " shews a well -shaped horse be- 

bones. hinde, handsome formed sculls, give some 



URNE-BURIALL. 55 

analogic of fleshy resemblance. A cri- For their 
ticall view of bones makes a good dis- 



tinction of sexes. Even colour is not thickness. 

, j ^uj^u e The Poet 

beyond conjecture ; since it is hard to be Dante j n 

deceived in the distinction of Negro's his view of 

sculls. e Dantes Characters are to be fo " r ^ ory> 

found in sculls as well as faces. Hercules gluttons so 

is not onely known by his foot. Other ^^s\' 

parts make out their comproportions, tenuated, 

, . - , . A , that he 

and inferences upon whole or parts. And conceited 



since the dimensions of the head measure * h em to 
the whole body, and the figure thereof i n tne 
gives conjecture of the principall facul- Siege of 

. ,. Jerusalem, 

ties ; Physiognomy outlives our selves, a nd that it 
and ends not in our graves. wa ^ easie 

. to have 

Severe contemplators observing these discovered 
lasting reliques, may think them good H mo . or 
monuments of persons past, little advan- their 
tage to future beings. And considering ^ ac . es : ^ 
that power which subdueth all things by the two 
unto it self, that can resume the scattered ll , ne . s of 
Atomes, or identifie out of any thing, cheeks, 
conceive it superfluous to expect a re- arcnin jj 
surrection out of Reliques. But the soul Eye brows 
subsisting, other matter clothed with due ^ s * e an d 
accidents, may salve the individuality : their sunk 
Yet the Saints we observe arose from ^o^" 

which 

makes up Onto. Parean Focchiaie anella senza gemme che net visa 
de gli huomini legge huomo Bcri hauria quiui conosciuto Fcmme. 



56 HYDRIOTAPHIA, URNE-BURIALL. 

graves and monuments, about the holy 
City. Some think the ancient Patriarchs 
so earnestly desired to lay their bones in 
Canaan, as hoping to make a part of 
that Resurrection, and though thirty 
miles from Mount Calvary^ at least to 
lie in that Region, which should produce 
the first-fruits of the dead. And if ac- 
cording to learned conjecture, the bodies 
of men shall rise where their greatest 
Reliques remain, many are not like to 
erre in the Topography of their Resur- 
rection, though their bones or bodies be 
after translated by Angels into the field 
of Ezechiels vision, or as some will order 
it, into the Valley of Judgement, or 
Jehosaphat" 



CHAP. IV. 

CHRISTIANS have handsomely glossed 
the deformity of death, by careful consi- 
deration of the body, and civil rites which 
take of brutall terminations. And though 
they conceived all reparable by a resur- 
rection, cast not off all care of enterrment. 
And since the ashes of Sacrifices burnt 
upon the Altar of God, were carefully 
carried out by the Priests, and deposed 
in a clean field ; since they acknowledged 
their bodies to be the lodging of Christ, 
and temples of the holy Ghost, they de- 
volved not all upon the sufficiency of 
soul existence ; and therefore with long 
services and full solemnities concluded 
their last Exequies, wherein 3 to all dis- *Rituaie 
tinctions the Greek devotion seems most G ^ acul " 

ofera J. 

pathetically ceremonious. Goar in 

Christian invention hath chiefly driven 
at Rites, which speak hopes of another 
life, and hints of a Resurrection. And 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



b Similis 
revivi- 
scendi 
fromissa 
Democrito 
vanitas, 
qui non 
rrvixit 
ipse. Qua, 
maliitn, 
ista de- 
mentia est ; 
iterari vi- 
ta m morte. 
Tlin. 1. 7. 
c. 55. 
c Kat 
tit* 



<5r" dein- 
ceps. 
Cedit 
cnim retro 
de terra 
quodfuit 
ante In 



&c. 

Lucret. 
Plato in 
Phad. 



if the ancient Gentiles held not the im- 
mortality of their better part, and some 
subsistence after death ; in severall rites, 
customes, actions and expressions, they 
contradicted their own opinions : wherein 
Democritus went high, even to the thought 
of a resurrection b , as scoffingly recorded 
by Pliny. What can be more expresse 
than the expression of Phocylltdes c ? Or 
who would expect from Lucretius 6 a 
sentence of EcclesiastesJ Before Plato 
could speak, the soul had wings in Homer, 
which fell not, but flew out of the body 
into the mansions of the dead ; who alsd 
observed that handsome distinction of 
Demas and Soma, for the body conjoyned 
to the soul and body separated from it. 
Lucian spoke much truth in jest, when 
he said, that part of Hercules which pro- 
ceeded from Alchmena perished, that 
from Jupiter remained immortall. Thus 
Socrates was content that his friends 
should bury his body, so they would 
not think they buried Socrates, and re- 
garding only his immortall part, was in- 
difierent to be burnt or buried. From 
such Considerations Diogenes might con- 
temn Sepulture. And being satisfied 
that the soul could not perish, grow 



URNE-BURIALL. 59 

carelesse of corporall enterrment. The 
Stoicks who thought the souls of wise 
men had their habitation about the moon, 
might make slight account of subterra- 
neous deposition ; whereas the Pythago- 
rians and transcorporating Philosophers, 
who were to be often buried, held great 
care of their enterrment. And the Pla- 
tonicks rejected not a due care of the 
grave, though they put their ashes to un- 
reasonable expectations, in their tedious 
term of return and long set revolution. 

Men have lost their reason in nothing 
so much as their religion, wherein stones 
and clouts make Martyrs ; and since the 
religion of one seems madnesse unto an- 
other, to afford an account or rationall 
of old Rites, requires no rigid Reader ; 
That they kindled the pyre aversly, 
or turning their face from it, was an 
handsome Symbole of unwilling mini- 
stration ; That they washed their bones 
with wine and milk, that the mother 
wrapt them in Linnen, and dryed them 
in her bosome, the first fostering part, 
and place of their nourishment ; That 
they opened their eyes towards heaven, 
before they kindled the fire, as the place 
of their hopes or originall, were no im- 
G 



60 HYDRIOTAI'HIA, 

proper Ceremonies. Their last valedic- 
' i'a!f,t>afe, tion f thrice uttered by the attendants 
nos it ordi- was a j so very . S olemn, and . somewhat 

tie quo J 

t,atur,i answered by Christians, who thought it 
pt.rmittet too ]j tt j e jf t h e y threw not the earth thrice 

' J 

upon the enterred body. That in strew- 
ing their Tombs the Romans affected 
the Rose, the Greeks Antaranthus and 
myrtle ; that the Funerall pyre consisted 
of sweet fuell, Cypresse, Firre, Larix, 
Yewe, and Trees perpetually verdant, 
lay silent expressions of their surviving 
hopes : Wherein Christians which deck 
their Coffins with Bays have found a 
more elegant Embleme. For that he 
seeming dead, will restore it self from 
the root, and its dry and exuccous leaves 
resume their verdure again ; which if we 
mistake not, we have also observed in 
fures. Whether the planting of yewe in 
Churchyards, hold not its originall from 
ancient Funerall rites, or as an Embleme 
of Resurrection from its perpetual ver- 
dure, may also admit conjecture. 

They made use of Musick to excite or 
quiet the affections of their friends, ac- 
cording to different harmonies. But the 
secret and symbolicall hint was the har- 
monicall nature of the soul ; which de- 



URNE-BURIALL. 6 1 

livered from the body, went again to 
enjoy the primitive harmony of heaven, 
from whence it first descended ; which 
according to its progresse traced by 
antiquity, came down by Cancer, and 
ascended by Capricornus. 

They burnt not children before their 
teeth appeared, 19 as apprehending their 
bodies too tender a morsell for fire, and 
that their gristly bones would scarce 
leave separable reliques after the pyrall 
combustion. That they kindled not fire 
in their houses for some dayes after, was 
a strict memoriall of the late afflicting 
fire. And mourning without hope, they 
had an happy fraud against excessive 
lamentation, by a common opinion that 
deep sorrows disturbed their ghosts a . *7u manes 

That they buried their dead on their 
backs, or in a supine position, seems 
agreeable unto profound sleep, and com- 
mon posture of dying ; contrary to the 
most naturall way of birth ; Nor unlike 
our pendulous posture, in the doubtfull 
state of the womb. Diogenes was sin- 
gular, who preferred a prone situation in 
the grave, and some Christians b like 
neither, who decline the figure of rest, 
and make choice of an erect posture. 



ne l<zde 

1IICOS. 



62 HVDRIOTAPHIA, 

That they carried them out of the 
world with their feet forward, not in- 
consonant unto reason : As contrary 
unto the native posture of man, and his 
production first into it. And also agree- 
able unto their opinions, while they bid 
adieu unto the world, not to look again 
upon it ; whereas Mahometans who think 
to return to a delightfull life again, are 
carried forth with their heads forward, 
and looking toward their houses. 

They closed their eyes as parts which 
first die or first discover the sad effects 
of death. But their iterated clamations 
to excitate their dying or dead friends, 
or revoke them unto life again, was a 
vanity of affection ; as not presumably 
ignorant of the criticall tests of death, 
by apposition of feathers, glasses, and 
reflexion of figures, which dead eyes re- 
present not ; which however not strictly 
verifiable in fresh and warm cadavers \ 
could hardly elude the test, in corps of 
four or five dayes : at least by some 
difference from living eyes. 

That they suck'd in the last breath of 
their expiring friends, was surely a prac- 
tice of no medicall institution, but a loose 
opinion that the soul passed out that 



URNE-BURIALL. 63 

way, and a fondnesse of affection from 
some * Pythagoricall foundation, that the * Francesco 
spirit of one body passed into another ; 
which they wished might be their own. 

That they powred oyle upon the pyre, 
was a tolerable practise, while the inten- 
tion rested in facilitating the accension ; 
But to place good Omens in the quick 
and speedy burning, to sacrifice unto the 
windes for a dispatch in this office, was a 
low form of superstition. 

The Archimime or Jester attending 
the Funerall train, and imitating the 
speeches, gesture, and manners of the 
deceased, was too light for such solem- 
nities, contradicting their Funerall Ora- 
tions, and dolefull rites of the grave. 

That they buried a peece of money with 
them as a Fee of the Elysian Ferriman, 
was a practise full of folly. But the an- 
cient custome of placing coynes in consi- 
derable Urnes, and the present practise of 
burying medals in the Noble Foundations 
of Europe, are laudable wayes of historicall 
discoveries, in actions, persons, Chrono- 
logies ; and posterity will applaud them. 

We examine not the old Laws of 
Sepulture, exempting certain persons 
from buriall or burning. But hereby we 



64 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

apprehend that these were not the bones 
of persons Planet-struck or burnt with 
fire from Heaven : No Reliques of 
Traitors to their Countrey, Self-killers, 
or Sacrilegious Malefactors ; Persons in 
old apprehension unworthy of the eartJi ; 
condemned unto the Tartaras of Hell, 
and bottomlesse pit of Plato, from whence 
there was no redemption. 

Nor were only many customes ques- 
tionable in order to their Obsequies, but 
also sundry practises, fictions, and con- 
ceptions, discordant or obscure, of their 
state and future beings ; whether unto 
eight or ten bodies of men to adde one 
of a woman, as being more inflammable, 
and unctuously constituted for the better 
pyrall combustion, were any rationall 
practise : Or whether the complaint of 
Perianders Wife be tolerable, that want- 
ing her Funerall burning she suffered 
intolerable cold in Hell, according to the 
constitution of the infernall house of 
Plato, wherein cold makes a great part 
of their tortures ; it cannot passe without 
some question. 

Why the Female Ghosts appear unto 
Ulysses, before the Heroes and masculine 
spirits ? Why the Psyche or soul of Tire- 



URNE-BURIALL. 65 

sias is of the masculine gender*; who *In//<ww 
being blinde on earth sees more then all s ^'' iov 
the rest in hell ; Why the Funerall /> . 
Suppers consisted of Egges, Beans, *^ pcn 
Smallage, and Lettuce, since the dead 
are made to eat Asptiodels about the In 
Elyzian medows? Why since there is Lucian - 
no Sacrifice acceptable, nor any propitia- 
tion for the Covenant of the grave ; men 
set up the Deity of Morta, and fruitlesly 
adored Divinities without ears ? it cannot 
escape some doubt 

The dead seem all alive in the humane 
Hades of Homer, yet cannot well speak, 
prophesie, or know the living, except 
they drink bloud, wherein is the life of 
man. And therefore the souls of Pene- 
lope's Paramours conducted by Mercury 
chirped like bats, and those which fol- 
lowed Hercules made a noise but like a 
flock of birds. 

The departed spirits know things past 
and to come,yetare ignorantof things pre- 
sent. Agamemnon foretels what should 
happen unto Ulysses, yet ignorantly en- 
quires what is become of his own Son. 
The Ghosts are afraid of swords in 
Homer, yet Sybilla tels ALneas in Virgil, 
the thin habit of spirits was beyond the 



66 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

force of weapons. The spirits put off 
their malice with their bodies, and Casar 
and Pompey accord in Latine Hell, yet 
Ajax in Homer endures not a conference 
with Ulysses : And Deiphobus appears 
all mangled in Virgils Ghosts, yet we 
meet with perfect shadows among the 
wounded ghosts of Homer. 

Since Charon in Lucian applauds his 
condition among the dead, whether it 
be handsomely said of Achilles, that 
living contemner of death, that he had 
rather be a Plowmans servant then Em- 
perour of the dead ? How Hercules his 
soul is in hell, and yet in heaven, and 
Julius his soul in a Starre, yet seen by 
ALneas in hell, except the Ghosts were 
but Images and shadows of the soul, 
received in higher mansions, according 
to the ancient division of body, soul, and 
image or simulachrum of them both. 
The particulars of future beings must 
needs be dark unto ancient Theories, 
which Christian Philosophy yet deter- 
mines but in a Cloud of opinions. A 
Dialogue between two Infants in the womb 
concerning the state of this world, might 
handsomely illustrate our ignorance of 
the next, whereof methinks we yet dis- 



URNE-BURIALL. 6/ 

course in Platoes denne, and are but 
Embryon Philosophers. 

Pythagoras escapes in the fabulous hell 
of Dante a , among that swarm of Philo- a Del in- 
sophers, wherein whitest we meet with cant! 4. 
Plato and Socrates, Cato is to be found in 
no lower place then Purgatory. Among 
all the set, Epicurus is most considerable, 
whom men make honest without an 
Elyzium, who contemned life without en- 
couragement of immortality, and making 
nothing after death, yet made nothing of 
the King of terrours. 

Were the happinesse of the next world 
as closely apprehended as the felicities 
of this, it were a martyrdome to live ; 
and unto such as consider none here- 
after, it must be more then death to dye, 
which makes us amazed at those audaci- 
ties, that durst be nothing, and return into 
their Chaos again. Certainly such spirits 
as could contemn death, when they ex- 
pected no better being after, would have 
scorned to live had they known any. 
And therefore we applaud not the judg- 
ment of Machiavel, that Christianity 
makes men cowards, or that with the 
confidence of but half dying, the despised 
virtues of patience and humility, have 



68 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

abased the spirits of men, which Pagan 
principles exalted, but rather regulated 
the wildenesse of audacities, in the at- 
tempts, grounds, and eternall sequels of 
death ; wherein men of the boldest spirits 
are often prodigiously temerarious. Nor 
can we extenuate the valour of ancient 
Martyrs, who contemned death in the 
uncomfortable scene of their lives, and in 
their decrepit Martyrdomes did probably 
lose not many moneths of their dayes, 
or parted with life when it was scarce 
worth the living. For (beside that long 
time past holds no consideration unto a 
slender time to come) they had no small 
disadvantage from the constitution of 
old age, which naturally makes men 
fearfull ; complexionally superannuated 
from the bold and couragious thoughts 
of youth and fervent years. But the 
contempt of death from corporall ani- 
mosity, promoteth not our felicity. They 
may set in the Orchestra, and noblest 
Seats of Heaven, who have held up 
shaking hands in the fire, and humanely 
contended for glory. 

Mean while Epicurus lyes deep in 
Dante 's hell, wherein we meet with Tombs 
enclosing souls which denied their im- 



URNE-BURIALL. 69 

mortalities. But whether the virtuous 
heathen, who lived better then he spake, 
or erring in the principles of himself, yet 
lived above Philosophers of more spe- 
cious Maximes, lye so deep as he is 
placed ; at least so low as not to rise 
against Christians, who beleeving or 
knowing that truth, have lastingly denied 
it in their practise and conversation, 
were a quaery too sad to insist on. 

But all or most apprehensions rested 
in Opinions of some future being, which 
ignorantly or coldly beleeved, begat those 
perverted conceptions, Ceremonies, Say- 
ings, which Christians pity or laugh at. 
Happy are they, which live not in that 
disadvantage of time, when men could 
say little for futurity, but from reason. 
Whereby the noblest mindes fell often 
upon doubtfull deaths, and melancholly 
Dissolutions ; With these hopes Socrates 
warmed his doubtfull spirits, against that 
cold potion, and Cato before he durst 
give the fatall stroak spent part of the 
night in reading the immortality of Plato, 
thereby confirming his wavering hand 
unto the animosity of that attempt. 

It is the heaviest stone that melan- 
choly can throw at a man, to tell him he 



7O HYDRIOTAPIIIA, URNE-BURIALL. 

is at the end of his nature ; or that there 
is no further state to come, unto which 
this seemes progressionall, and otherwise 
made in vaine ; Without this accom- 
plishment the naturall expectation and 
desire of such a state, were but a fallacy 
in nature, unsatisfied Considerators ; 
would quarrell the justice of their con- 
stitutions, and rest content that Adam 
had fallen lower, whereby by knowing 
no other Originall, and deeper ignorance 
of themselves, they might have enjoyed 
the happinesse of inferiour Creatures ; 
who in tranquility possesse their Consti- 
tutions, as having not the apprehension 
to deplore their own natures. And being 
framed below the circumference of these 
hopes, or cognition of better being, the 
wisedom of God hath necessitated their 
Contentment : But the superiour ingre- 
dient and obscured part of our selves, 
whereto all present felicities afford no 
resting contentment, will be able at last 
to tell us we are more then our present 
selves ; and evacuate such hopes in the 
fruition of their own accomplishments. 



CHAP. V. 

Now since these dead bones have already 
out-lasted the living ones of Methuselah, 
and in a yard under ground, and thin walls 
of clay, out-worn all the strong and 
specious buildings above it ; and quietly 
rested under the drums and tramplings 
of three conquests ; What Prince can 
promise such diuturnity unto his Reliques, 
or might not gladly say, 

* Sic ego componi versus in ossa velim. * Tibullus. 
Time which antiquates Antiquities, and 
hath an art to make dust of all things, & ~/f c , ul . a 

' Lnaldaica 

hath yet spared these minor Monuments, cum 
In vain we hope to be known by open 
and visible conservatories, when to be 
unknown was the means of their con- Bl7/ x f OJ " 

TdlV (TU/ta 

tinuation and obscurity their protection : 4>v X ai KO- 
If they dyed by violent hands, and were T%%% 
thrust into their Urnes, these bones relinquen- 
become considerable, and some old Phi- 
losophers would honour 3 them, whose 



HYDRIOTAPHIA, 



b ln the 
Psalmc of 
Moses. 
e Accord- 
ing to the 
ancient 
Arith- 
metick of 
the hand 
wlierein 
the little 
finger of 
the right 
hand con- 
tracted, 
signified an 
hundred. 
fitrius in 
Hiero- 
glyph. 



souls they conceived most pure, which 
were thus snatched from their bodies ; 
and to retain a stronger propension unto 
them : whereas they wearied ly left a 
languishing corps, and with faint desires 
of re-union. If they fell by long and 
aged decay, yet wrapt up in the bundle 
of time, they fall into indistinction, and 
make but one blot with Infants. If we 
begin to die when we live, and long life 
be but a prolongation of death ; our life 
is a sad composition ; We live with 
death, and die not in a moment. How 
many pulses made up the life of Methu- 
selah, were work for Archimedes : Com- 
mon Counters summe up the life of Moses 
his man b . Our dayes become consi- 
derable like petty sums by minute accu- 
mulations ; where numerous fractions 
make up but small round numbers ; and 
our dayes of a span long make not one 
little finger c . 

If the nearnesse of our last necessity, 
brought a nearer conformity unto it, 
there were a happinesse in hoary hairs, 
and no calamity in half senses. But the 
long habit of living indisposeth us for 
dying \ When Avarice makes us the 
sport of death ; When even David grew 



URNE-BURIALL. 73 

politickly cruell ; and Solomon could 
hardly be said to be the wisest of men. 
But many are too early old, and before 
the date of age. Adversity stretcheth 
our dayes, misery makes * Alcmenas *One 
nights, and time hath no wings unto it. ^ ht a ^ s 
But the most tedious being is that which three. 
can unwish it self, content to be nothing, 
or never to have been, which was beyond 
the 7;m/-content of Job, who cursed not 
the day of his life, but his Nativity : 
Content to have so farre been, as to have 
a Title to future being ; Although he 
had lived here but in an hidden state of 
life, and as it were an abortion. 

What Song the Syrens sang, or what The puz- 
name Achilles assumed when he hid Jlons'of^" 
himself among women, though puzling Tiberius 
Questions are not beyond all conjecture. 
What time the persons of these Ossuaries 
entred the famous Nations of the dead, 



and slept with Princes and Counsellours, *' ^ 
might admit a wide solution. But who vsavwp&v. 
were the proprietaries of these bones, or Horn. job. 
what bodies these ashes made up, were 
a question above Antiquarism. Not to 
be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps 
by spirits, except we consult the Provin- 
ciall Guardians, or tutellary Observators. 



74 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

Had they made as good provision for 
their names, as they have done for their 
Reliques, they had not so grosly erred 
in the art of perpetuation. But to sub- 
sist in bones, and be but Pyramidally 
extant, is a fallacy in duration. Vain 
ashes, which in the oblivion of names, 
persons, times, and sexes, have found 
unto themselves, a fruitlesse continuation, 
and only arise unto late posterity, as 
Emblemes of mortall vanities ; Anti- 
dotes against pride, vain-glory, and mad- 
ding vices. Pagan vain-glories which 
thought the world might last for ever, 
had encouragement for ambition, and 
finding no Atropos unto the immortality 
of their Names, were never dampt with 
the necessity of oblivion. Even old 
ambitions had the advantage of ours, in 
the attempts of their vain-glories, who 
acting early, and before the probable 
Meridian of time, have by this time found 
great accomplishment of their designes, 
whereby the ancient Heroes have already 
out-lasted their Monuments, and Mechani- 
call preservations. But in this latter Scene 

That the - . , , , 

world may of time we cannot expect such Mummies 
last but six un to our memories, when ambition may 
years. fear the Prophecy of Elias *, and diaries 



URNE-BURIALL. 75 

the fifth can never hope to live within 

two Methusela's of Hector f . * Hectors 

And therefore restlesse inquietude for [n e a b a s ^ 

the diuturnity of our memories unto pre- two lives 

sent considerations, seems a vanity almost g ^ e "' 

out of date, and superannuated peece of fore that 



famous 



folly. We cannot hope to live so long p rinc e 
in our names, as some have done in their extant. 
persons, one face of Janus holds no pro- 
portion unto the other. 'Tis too late to 
be ambitious. The great mutations of 
the world are acted, or time may be too 
short for our designes. To extend our 
memories by Monuments, whose death 
we dayly pray for, and whose duration 
we cannot hope, without injury to our 
expectations, in the advent of the last 
day, were a contradiction to our beliefs. 
We whose generations are ordained in 
this setting part of time, are providentially 
taken off from such imaginations. And 
being necessitated to eye the remaining 
particle of futurity, are naturally consti- 
tuted unto thoughts of the next world, 
and cannot excusably decline the consi- 
deration of that duration, which maketh 
Pyramids pillars of snow, and all that's 
past a moment 

Circles and right lines limit and close 
H 



was 



76 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

all bodies, and the mortal 1 right-lined 

e The circle ', must conclude and shut up all. 

of Sh.' Tnere is no antidote against the Opium 

of time, which temporally considereth 

all things ; Our Fathers finde their 

graves in our short memories, and sadly 

tell us how we may be buried in our Sur- 

vivors. Grave-stones tell truth scarce 

h Old ones fourty years h : Generations passe while 

taken up sor ne trees stand, and old Families last 

and other not three Oaks. To be read by bare 

under* * Inscriptions like many in Gruter\ to 

them. hope for Eternity by ^Enigmaticall Epi- 

lnrit? thetes, or first letters of our names, to be 

tiones An- studied by Antiquaries, who we were, and 

have new Names given us like many of the 

Mummies, which men show in several 

countries, giving them what names they 

please : and unto some the names of the 

old ./Egyptian Kings out of He rodotus, are 

cold consolations unto the Students of per- 

petuity, even by everlasting Languages. 

To be content that times to come 

* Cuperem should only know there was such a man, 

notum esse . , , , . 

quod sim, not caring whether they knew more of 
nonoptout him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan*: 
iis rim. disparaging his horoscopal inclination 



Card, in an( judgement of himself, who cares 
to subsist like Hippocrates Patients, or 



URNE-BURIALL. 77 

Achilles horses in Homer, under naked 
nominations, without deserts and noble 
acts, which are the balsame of our me- 
mories, the Entelechia and soul of our 
subsistences. To be namelesse in worthy 
deeds exceeds an infamous history. The 
Canaanitish woman lives more happily 
without a name, then Herodias with one. 
And who had not rather have been the 
good theef, then Pilate ? 

But the iniquity of oblivion blindely 
scattereth her poppy, and deals with the 
memory of men without distinction to 
merit of perpetuity. Who can but pity 
the founder of the Pyramids? Hero- 
stratus lives that burnt the Temple of 
Diana, he is almost lost that built it ; 
Time hath spared the Epitaph of Adrians 
horse, confounded that of himself. In 
vain we compute our felicities by the 
advantage of our good names, since bad 
have equall durations ; and Thersites is 
like to live as long as Agamemnon : Who 
knows whether the best of men be known ? 
or whether there be not more remark- 
able persons forgot, then any that stand 
remembred in the known account of 
time, without the favour of the ever- 
lasting Register? the first man had 



78 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

been as unknown as the last, and 
Metltuselalis long life had been his only 
Chronicle. 

Oblivion is not to be hired : The 
greater part must be content to be as 
though they had not been, to be found 
in the Register of God, not in the record 
of man. Twenty seven Names make up 
the first story before the flood, and the 
recorded names ever since contain not 
one living Century. The number of the 
dead long exceedeth all that shall live. 
The night of time far surpasseth the day, 
and who knows when was the ./Equinox ? 
Euery houre addes unto that current 
Arithmetique, which scarce stands one 
moment And since death must be the 
Lucina of life, and even Pagans could 

* Euri- doubt * whether thus to live, were to dye. 

pidu. Since our longest Sunne sets at right 
descensions, and makes but winter arches, 

Accord . and therefore it cannot be long before we 

ing to the lie down in darknesse, and have our light 

SfjSJe? in ashes ' Since the brother of death 
who place daily haunts us with dying memento's, 

wa:f candle anc * t ' me t ^ iat g rows old it self, bids US 

in a pot of hope no long duration : Diuturnity is a 
dream and folly of expectation. 

Darknesse and light divide the course 



URNE-BURIALL. 79 

of time, and oblivion shares with memory, 
a great part even of our living beings ; 
we slightly remember our felicities, and 
the smartest stroaks of affliction leave 
but short smart upon us. Sense endureth 
no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or 
themselves. To weep into stones are 
fables. Afflictions induce callosities, 
miseries are slippery, or fall like snow 
upon us, which notwithstanding is no 
unhappy stupidity. To be ignorant of 
evils to come, and forgetfull of evils past, 
is a mercifull provision in nature, where- 
by we digest the mixture of our few and 
evil dayes, and our delivered senses not 
relapsing into cutting remembrances, our 
sorrows are not kept raw by the edge of 
repetitions. A great part of Antiquity 
contented their hopes of subsistency with 
a transmigration of their souls. A good 
way to continue their memories, while 
having the advantage of plurall succes- 
sions, they could not but act something 
remarkable in such variety of beings, and 
enjoying the fame of their passed selves, 
make accumulation of glory unto their 
last durations. Others rather then be 
lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing, 
were content to recede into the common 



80 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

being, and make one particle of the 
publick soul of all things, which was no 
more then to return into their unknown 
and divine Originall again. Egyptian 
ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriv- 
ing their bodies in sweet consistences, to 
attend the return of their souls. But all 
Omnia was vanity, feeding * the winde, and 
** foll y- The 'Egyptian Mummies, which 
oui) Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice 
/" now consumeth. Mummie is become 
olim Aqui- Merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds, 
m^k*?!"' and Plwraoh is sold for balsoms. 
v. Drus. In vain do individuals hope for Im- 
mortality, or any patent from oblivion, 
in preservations below the Moon : Men 
have been deceived even in their flatteries 
above the Sun, and studied conceits to 
perpetuate their names in heaven. The 
various Cosmography of that part hath 
already varied the names of contrived 
constellations ; Nimrod is lost in Orion, 
and Osyris in the Dogge-starre. While 
we look for incorruption in the heavens, 
we finde they are but like the Earth ; 
Durable in their main bodies, alterable 
in their parts : whereof beside Comets 
and new Stars, perspectives begin to tell 
tales. And the spots that wander about 



URNE-BURIALL. 8 1 

the Sun, with Phaetons favour, would 
make clear conviction. 

There is nothing strictly immortall, 
but immortality ; whatever hath no be- 
ginning may be confident of no end. 
All others have a dependent being, and 
within the reach of destruction, which is 
the peculiar of that necessary essence 
that cannot destroy it self; And the 
highest strain of omnipotency to be so 
powerfully constituted, as not to suffer 
even from the power of it self. But the 
sufficiency of Christian Immortality frus- 
trates all earthly glory, and the quality 
of either state after death, makes a folly 
of posthumous memory. God who can 
only destroy our souls, and hath assured 
our resurrection, either of our bodies or 
names hath directly promised no dura- 
tion. Wherein there is so much of 
chance that the boldest Expectants have 
found unhappy frustration ; and to hold 
long subsistence, seems but a scape in 
oblivion. But man is a Noble Animal, 
splendid in ashes, and pompous in the 
grave, solemnizing Nativities and Deaths 
with equall lustre, nor omitting Cere- 
monies of bravery, in the infamy of his 
nature. 



82 



HYDKIOTAPHIA, 



Accord- 
ing to the 



rum bonis 

plusinven- 

tum est, 
quamQuod 

sufiuerctad 

emendam 
yram Et 



cremaren- 

fur, Et 



empta. 
In Greek, 

Latme, 

Hebrew, 



defaced by 

th'e'lEm'- 
perour. 



Life is a pure flame, and we live by 
an invisible Sun within us. A small fire 
sufficeth for life, great flames seemed 
too little after death, while men vainly 
affected precious pyres, and to burn like 
Sardanapalus, but the wisedom of fune- 
rall Laws found the folly of prodigall 
blazes, and reduced undoing fires, unto 
^ e r ^ & ^ SODer obsequies, wherein few 
could be so mean as not to provide wood, 
P itch > a mourner, and an Urne * 

Five Languages secured not the Epi- 
ta P h of Gordianus* ;' The man of God 
lives longer without a Tomb then any 

, . ., , . . , , . , 

by one, invisibly interred by Angels, 
an d adjudged to obscurity, though not 

. ,. '. , 6 

without some marks directing humane 
discovery. Enoch and Elias without 
either tomb or buriall, in an anomalous 
state of being, are the great Examples 

P .... .... 

of perpetuity, in their long and living 
memory, in strict account being still on 
this side death, and having a late part 
yet to act U po n thj s stage of earth. If 

f ^ 

in the decretory term of the world we 

Sha11 n0t a11 dve but ^ Ch 30 ^. accord- 

ing to received translation ; the last day 
w '^ ma ^ e but few graves ; at least quick 
Resurrections will anticipate lasting Se- 



URNE-BURIALL. 83 

pultures ; Some Graves will be opened 
before they be quite closed, and Lazarus 
be no wonder. When many that feared 
to dye shall groane that they can dye 
but once, the dismall state is the second 
and living death, when life puts despair 
on the damned ; when men shall wish 
the coverings of Mountaines, not of 
Monuments, and annihilation shall be 
courted. 

While some have studied Monuments, 
others have studiously declined them : 
and some have been so vainly boisterous, 
that they durst not acknowledge their 
Graves ; wherein b Alaricus seems most 
subtle, who had a River turned to hide 
his bones at the bottome. Even Sylla 
that thought himself safe in his Urne, 
could not prevent revenging tongues, 
and stones thrown at his Monument. 
Happy are they whom privacy makes 
innocent, who deal so with men in this 
world, that they are not afraid to meet 
them in the next, who when they dye, 
make no commotion among the dead, 
and are not toucht with that poetical 1 
taunt of Isaiah c . c Isa. 14. 

Pyramids, Arches, Obelisks, were but 
the irregularities of vain-glory, and wilde 



84 HYDRIOTAPHIA, 

enormities of ancient magnanimity. But 
the most magnanimous resolution rests 
in the Christian Religion, which tram- 
pleth upon pride, and sets on the neck of 
ambition, humbly pursuing that infallible 
perpetuity, unto which all others must 
diminish their diameters, and be poorly 
d Angulus seen in Angles of contingency d . 

/SlSE*" Pious s P irits who passed their dayes 
least of in raptures of futurity, made little more 
Angles. Q f this wor j ( j > then tne wor id that was 

before it, while they lay obscure in the 
Chaos of preordination, and night of 
their fore-beings. And if any have been 
so happy as truly to understand Christian 
annihilation, extasis, exolution, liquefac- 
tion, transformation, the kisse of the 
Spouse, 21 gustation of God, and ingres- 
sion into the divine shadow, they have 
already had an handsome anticipation of 
heaven ; the glory of the world is surely 
over, and the earth in ashes unto them. 

To subsist in lasting Monuments, to 
live in their productions, to exist in their 
names, and prasdicament of ChymercLS^ 
was large satisfaction unto old expecta- 
tions, and made one part of their Ely- 
stums. But all this is nothing in the 
Metaphysicks of true belief. To live 



URNE-BURIALL. 85 

indeed is to be again our selves, which 
being not only an hope but an evidence 
in noble beleevers ; 'Tis all one to lye 
in S* Innocents e 22 Church-yard, as in the In Paris 
Sands of JEgypt\ Ready to be any J^J 
thing, in the extasie of being ever, and soon con- 
as content with six foot as the Moles of f 
A drianus f . Mauso - 

leutn or se- 
pulchral 
pyle built 
by Adria- 
nus in 

_ Rome, 

L,UCan where now 

Tabesne cadavera solvat standeth 

. r T / the Castle 

An rogus haud refert. of s l An- 
gela. 



^2 Roman 'TTrn. 3 
y *4r*f fauna 




BRAMPTON URNS. 



CONCERNING SOME URNES 

FOUND IN BRAMPTON- 

FIELD, IN NORFOLK, 

ANN. 1667. 

I THOUGHT I had taken Leave of URNES, 
when I had some Years past given a 
short Account of those found at Wai- 
singham* but a New Discovery being 
made, I readily obey your Commands in 
a brief Description thereof. 

In a large Arable Field, lying between 
Buxton and Brampton, but belonging to 
Brampton, and not much more than a 
Furlong from Oxnead Park, divers Urnes 
were found. A Part of the Field being 
designed to be inclosed, while the Work- 
men made several Ditches, they fell upon 
divers Urnes, but earnestly, and carelesly 
digging, they broke all they met with, 

* See, Hydriotaphia, Urne-Burial : Or, a 
Discourse of the Sepulchral Urnes lately found 
in Norfolk, %vo, Lopd. printed 1658. 



90 URNES FOUND IN 

and finding nothing but Ashes, or burnt 
Cinders, they scattered what they found. 
Upon Notice given unto me, I went unto 
the Place, and though I used all Care 
with the Workmen, yet they were broken 
in the taking out, but many, without 
doubt, are still remaining in that Ground. 
Of these Pots none were found above 
Three Quarters of a Yard in the Ground, 
whereby it appeareth, that in all this 
Time the Earth hath little varied its 
Surface, though this Ground hath been 
Plowed to the utmost Memory of Man. 
Whereby it may be also conjectured, 
that this hath not been a Wood-Land, 
as some conceive all this Part to have 
been ; for in such Lands they usually 
made no common Burying-places, except 
for some special Persons in Graves, and 
likewise that there hath been an Ancient 
Habitation about these Parts ; for at 
Buxton also, not a Mile off, Urnes have 
been found in my Memory, but in their 
Magnitude, Figure, Colour, Posture, &c. 
there was no small Variety, some were 
large and capacious, able to contain above 
Two Gallons, some of a middle, others 
of a smaller Size ; the great ones pro- 
bably belonging to greater Persons, or 



BRAMPTON-FIELD. 9 1 

might be Family Urnes, fit to receive 
the Ashes successively of their Kindred 
and Relations, and therefore of these, 
some had Coverings of the same Matter, 
either fitted to them, or a thin flat Stone, 
like a Grave Slate, laid over them ; and 
therefore also great Ones were but thinly 
found, but others in good Number ; some 
were of large wide Mouths, and Bellies 
proportionable, with short Necks, and 
bottoms of Three Inches Diameter, and 
near an Inch thick ; some small, with 
Necks like Juggs, and about that Big- 
ness ; the Mouths of some few were not 
round, but after the Figure of a Circle 
compressed ; though some had small, 
yet none had pointed Bottoms, accord- 
ing to the Figures of those which are to 
be seen in Roma Soteranea, Viginerus, 
or Mascardus. 

In the Colours also there was great 
Variety, some were Whitish, some 
Blackish, and inclining to a Blue, others 
Yellowish, or dark Red, arguing the 
Variety of their Materials. Some Frag- 
ments, and especially Bottoms of Vessels, 
which seem'd to be handsome neat Pans, 
were also found of a fine Coral-\\ke, Red, 
somewhat like Portugal Vessels, as tho' 
I 



92 URNES FOUN'D IN 

they had been made out of some fine 
Bolary Earth, and very smooth ; but the 
like had been found in divers Places, as 
Dr. Casaubon hath observed about the 
Pots found at Newington in Kent, and 
as other Pieces do yet testifie, which are 
to be found at Burrow Castle, an Old 
Roman Station, not far from Yarmouth. 

Of the Urnes, those of the larger Sort, 
such as had Coverings, were found with 
their Mouths placed upwards, but great 
Numbers of the others were, as they 
informed me, (and One I saw my self,) 
placed with their Mouths downward, 
which were probably such as were not 
to be opened again, or receive the Ashes 
of any other Person ; though some 
wonder'd at this Position, yet I saw no 
Inconveniency in it ; for the Earth being 
closely pressed, and especially in Minor 
Mouth'd Pots, they stand in a Posture as 
like to continue as the other, as being 
less subject to have the Earth fall in, or 
the Rain to soak into them ; and the 
same Posture has been observed in some 
found in other Places, as Holingslieaii 
delivers, of divers found in Anglesea. 

Some had Inscriptions, the greatest 
Part none ; those with Inscriptions were 



BRAMPTON-FIELD. 93 

of the largest Sort, which were upon the 
reverted Verges thereof; the greatest 
part of those which I could obtain were 
somewhat obliterated ; yet some of the 
Letters to be made out : The Letters 
were between Lines, either Single or 
Double, and the Letters of some few 
after a fair Roman Stroke, others more 
rudely and illegibly drawn, wherein there 
seemed no great Variety. NUON being 
upon very many of them ; only upon the 
inside of the bottom of a small Red Pan- 
like Vessel, were legibly set down in 
embossed Letters, CRA CUNA F. Z3 which 
might imply Cracuna figuli, or the Name 
of the Manufactor, for Inscriptions com- 
monly signified the Name of the Person 
interr'd, the Names of Servants Official 
to such Provisions, or the Name of the 
Artificer, or Manufactor of such Vessels ; 
all which are particularly exemplified by 
the Learned Licetus*, where the same 
Inscription is often found, it is probably, 
of the Artificer, or where the Name also is 
in the Genitive Case, as he also observeth. 
Out of one was brought unto me a 
Silver Denarius, with the Head of Diva 
Faustina on the Obverse side, on the 
* Vid. Licet, de Lucernis. 



94 URNES FOUND IN 

Reverse the Figures of the Emperor and 
Empress joining their Right Hands, with 
this Inscription, Concordia ; the same is 
to be seen in Augustino ; I also received 
from some Men and Women then present 
Coins of Posthumus, and Tetricus, Two 
of the Thirty Tyrants in the Reign of 
Gallienus, which being of much later 
Date, begat an Inference, that Urne- 
Burial lasted longer, at least in this 
Country, than is commonly supposed. 
Good Authors conceive, that this Custom 
ended with the Reigns of the Antonini, 
whereof the last was Antoninus Helioga- 
balus ; yet these Coins extend about 
Fourscore Years lower ; and since the 
Head of Tetricus is made with a radiated 
Crown, it must be conceived to have 
been made after his Death, and not 
before his Consecration, which as the 
Learned Tristan Conjectures, was most 
probably in the Reign of the Emperor 
Tacitus, and the Coin not made, or at 
least not issued Abroad, before the Time 
of the Emperor Probus, for Tacitus 
Reigned but Six Months and an Half, his 
Brother Florianus but Two Months, unto 
whom Probus succeeding, Reigned Five 
Years. 



BRAMPTON-FIELD. 95 

There were also found some pieces of 
Glass, and finer Vessels, which might con- 
tain such Liquors as they often Buried 
in, or by, the Urnes ; divers Pieces of 
Brass, of several Figures ; and in one 
Urne was found a Nail Two Inches long, 
whither to declare the Trade or Occupa- 
tion of the Person, is uncertain. But 
upon the Monuments of Smiths in Gruter, 
we meet with the Figures of Hammers, 
Pincers, and the like ; and we find the 
Figure of a Cobler's Awl on the Tomb 
of one of that Trade, which was in the 
Custody of Berini, as Argulus hath set it 
down in his Notes upon ONUPHRIUS, 
Of the Antiquities of VERONA. 

Now, though Urnes have been often 
discovered in former Ages, many think it 
strange there should be many still found, 
yet assuredly there may be great Numbers 
still concealed. For tho' we should not 
reckon upon any who were thus buried 
before the Time of the Romans, [altho' 
that the Druids were thus buried, it may 
be probable, and we read of the Urne of 
Chindonactes, a Druid, found near Dijon 
in Burgundy, largely discoursed of by 
Licetus^\ and tho', I say, we take not in 
any Infant which was Minor igne rogi, 



96 URNES FOUND IN 

before Seven Months, or Appearance of 
Teeth, nor should account this Practice 
of burning among the Britains higher 
than Vespasian, when it is said by Tacitus, 
that they conformed unto the Manners 
and Customs of the Romans, and so 
both Nations might have one Way of 
Burial ; yet from his Days, to the Dates 
of these Urnes, were about Two Hundred 
Years. And therefore it we fall so low, 
as to conceive there were buried in this 
Nation but Twenty Thousand Persons, 
the Account of the buried Persons would 
amount unto Four Millions, and conse- 
quently so great a Number of Urnes dis- 
persed through the Land, as may still 
satisfy the Curiosity of succeeding Times, 
and arise unto all Ages. 

The Bodies, whose Reliques these 
Urnes contained, seemed thoroughly 
burned ; for beside pieces of Teeth, there 
were found few Fragments of Bones, but 
rather Ashes in hard Lumps, and pieces 
of Coals, which were often so fresh, that 
one sufficed to make a good Draught of 
its Urne, which still remaineth with me. 

Some Persons digging at a little Dis- 
tance from the Urne Places, in hopes to 
find something of Value, after they had 



BRAMPTON-FIELD. 97 

digged about Three Quarters of a Yard 
deep, fell *upon an Observable Piece of 
Work, 24 whose Description this Figure 
affordeth. The Work was Square, about 
Two Yards and a Quarter on each Side. 
The Wall, or outward Part, a Foot thick, 
in Colour Red, and looked like Brick ; 
but it was solid, without any Mortar or 
Cement, or figur'd Brick in it, but of an 
whole Piece, so that it seemed to be 
Framed and Burnt in the same Place 
where it was found. In this kind of 
Brick-work were Thirty-two Holes, of 
about Two Inches and an Half Diameter, 
and Two above a Quarter of a Circle in 
the East and West Sides. Upon Two 
of these Holes, on the East Side, were 
placed Two Pots, with their Mouths 
downward ; putting in their Arms they 
found the Work hollow below, and the 
Earth being clear'd off, much Water was 
found below them, to the Quantity of a 
Barrel, which was conceived to have been 
the Rain-water which soaked in through 
the Earth above them. 

The upper Part of the Work being 
broke, and opened, they found a Floor 
about Two Foot below, and then digging 
onward, Three Floors successively under 



98 URNES FOUND IN 

one another, at the Distance of a Foot and 
Half, the Stones being of a Slatty, not 
Bricky, Substance ; in these Partitions 
some Pots were found, but broke by the 
Workmen, being necessitated to use hard 
Blows for the breaking of the Stones ; 
and in the last Partition but one, a large 
Pot was found of a very narrow Mouth, 
short Ears, of the Capacity of Fourteen 
Pints, which lay in an enclining Posture, 
close by, and somewhat under a kind of 
Arch in the solid Wall, and by the great 
Care of my worthy Friend, Mr. William 
Masham, who employed the Workmen, 
was taken up whole, almost full of Water, 
clean, and without Smell, and insipid, 
which being poured out, there still re- 
mains in the Pot a great Lump of an 
heavy crusty Substance. What Work 
this was we must as yet reserve unto 
better Conjecture. Mean while we find 
in Gniter that some Monuments of the 
Dead had divers Holes successively to 
let in the Ashes of their Relations, but 
Holes in such a great Number to that 
Intent, we have not anywhere met with. 
About Three Months after, my Noble 
and Honoured Friend, Sir Robert Pasfon, 
had the Curiosity to open a Piece of 



BRAMPTON-FIELD. 99 

Ground in his Park at Oxnead, which 
adjoined unto the former Field, where 
Fragments of Pots were found, and upon 
one the Figure of a well-made Face ; but 
probably this Ground had been opened 
and digged before, though out of the 
Memory of Man, for we found divers 
small Pieces of Pots, SJieeps Bones, some- 
times an Oyster-she\\ a Yard deep in the 
Earth, an unusual Coin of the Emperor 
Volusianus, having on the Obverse the 
Head of the Emperor, with a Radiated 
Crown, and this Inscription, Imp. Cess. 
C. Volusiano Aug. that is, Imp er atari 
Ccesari Caw Vibio Volusiano Augusta. 
On the Reverse an Human Figure, with 
the Arms somewhat extended, and at 
the Right Foot an Altar, with the In- 
scription, Pietas. This Emperor was 
Son unto Caius Vibius Tribonianus 
Gallus, with whom he jointly reigned 
after the Decii, about the Year 254 ; 
both he, himself, and his Father, were 
slain by the Emperor sEmilianus. By 
the Radiated Crown this Piece should 
be Coined after his Death and Consecra- 
tion, 25 but in whose Time it is not clear in 
History. 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

' ' It cannot be denyed but he hath pass'd over many 
hard places untouch'd, that might deserve a Note; that 
he hath made Annotations on some where no need was ; 
and in the explication of others hath gone besides the 
true sense." The Annotator upon " Religio Medici" 
(Thomas Keck of the Temple) to the Reader. 

PAGE 3, n. i. The Le Gros, Gross, or Groos 
family settled at Sloly, near Crostwick, so early 
as the reign of Stephen, and became possessed 
of the manor and hall of Crostwick in the 38th 
year of Henry VIII. Wilkin. 

PAGE 4, n. 2. " Imperial faces." Mr. Le Gros 
must doubtless have been a collector of Roman 
coins. 

PAGE 1 1, n. 3. According to St. Jerome, Adam 
was buried at Hebron, but other traditions 
place the site of his sepulchre on Mount Calvary. 

" Hie hominem primum suscepimus esse sepultum 
Hie patitur Christus, pia sanguine terra madescit 
Pulvis Adae ut possit, veteris, cum sanguine Christ! 
Commixtus, stillantis aquae virtute lavari." 

Tertullian, Carm. cont. Marcion, ii. 4. 

See more in Bayle's Dictionary, s.v. Adam. 



104 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

PAGE 13, n. 4. This refers to the raven " who 
would salute and bid Good-morrow to Tiberius 
Ciesar, and after him to Germanicus and Drusus, 
the young princes, both Cicsars, every one by 
their names." The bird, having clone this regu- 
larly for many years, was killed by a shoemaker, 
who in return was murdered by the people. " But 
contrariwise the carkasse of the dead Raven 
was solemnly enterred, and the funerals per- 
formed with all ceremonial! obsequies that could 
bee devised. For the corps of this bird was 
bestowed in a coffin, couch, or bed, and the same 
bedecked with chaplets and guirlands of fresh 
floures of all sorts, carried upon the shoulders 
of two blacke Mores, with minstrels before sound- 
ing the haut boies, and playing on the fife, as 
farre as to the funerall fire, which was piled and 
made in the right hand of the Causey Appia 
two miles without the cittie" (Pliny, " Nat. Hist.," 
x. c. 43). This took place in A.I). 35. 

PAGE 16, n. 5. This calls to mind the "Yle 
that is clept Caffblos. Men of that Contree, 
whan here Frendes ben seke, thei hangen hem 
upon Trees : and seyn, that it is bettre, that 
Briddes, that ben Angeles of God, eten hem, 
than the foule Wormes of the Erthe" (Maunde- 
ville's" Travels," ed. 1839^.194; see also p. 308). 

PAGE 16, n. 6. "As the men and horses 
dispatched by fire for the service of the dead 
are but paper figures, so offerings of clothes and 
money may be represented likewise. The imi- 
tations of Spanish pillar-dollars in pasteboard 
covered with tin-foil, the sheets of tin-foil paper 
which stand for silver money, and, if coloured 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 10$ 

yellow, for gold, are consumed in such quantities 
that the sham becomes a serious reality, for the 
manufacture of mock-money is rtie trade of 
thousands of women and children in a Chinese 
city" (Tylor's "Primitive Culture," 1871, vol. i., 
p. 445). In ancient tombs in the Crimea pieces of 
" ghost-money," or imitations of coins made in 
thin gold-foil, are often found. 

PAGE 20, n. 7. With regard to this bird, 
" which after many hundred years burneth itself, 
and from the ashes thereof riseth up another," 
see "Vulgar Errors," book iii., chap. 12. 

PAGE 22, n. 8. The objects described as 
having been found with the urns at Old Wal- 
singham are characteristic of Saxon interments. 
The small boxes may possibly have been cylin- 
drical thread-boxes of bronze, like those in 
Neville's " Saxon Obsequies," pi. xv., and the 
" handles of small brass instruments " were pro- 
bably either clasps, as in Neville, pi. xii., or 
fibula;. The " opale " may have been a glass 
or crystal bead. The urns themselves may be 
paralleled by some figured by Neville. It has 
been supposed that some of them are still pre- 
served in the British Museum, but I have not 
been able to trace their existence. 

PAGE 25, n. 9. As I have observed in 
the Introduction, the coin here mentioned is 
hardly susceptible of identification, nor can it 
easily be imagined that any such inscription as 
Elle n'a elle should occur upon a coin. The 
only pieces that can with any show of proba- 
bility be assigned to Matilda are those which I 
attributed to her in 1851 ("Num. Chron.," vol. 



IO6 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

xiv., p. 66). They seem to bear the legend 
MATILDA IM.,or her title of IMPERATRIX 
only. 

PAGE 31, n. 10. The reputed rubies were 
merely garnets, such as are so commonly inlaid 
in Merovingian and Saxon ornaments. The 
"many hundred Imperial coyns " must be re- 
duced to four, if ChifHet speaks truly. These 
were in silver, ranging from Hadrian (circ. 
A.D. 120) to Constantius II. (circ. A.D. 360), 
and all were perforated so as to serve as pendants. 

PAGE 31, n. u. In Sir Thomas Browne's 
" Musaeum Clausum, or Bibliotheca Abscondita " 
("Certain Miscellany Tracts," London, 1684), 
under the heading of "Rare and generally un- 
known Books," appears " The Letter of Quintus 
Cicero, which he wrote in answer to that of his 
Brother Marcus Tullius, desiring of him an 
account of Britany, wherein are described the 
Country State and Manners of the Britains of 
that Age." 

PAGE 39, n. 12. It is hardly possible for this 
" Vinosity" to have remained unchanged through 
centuries ; but in a Roman sepulchral urn that 
I exhumed from a barrow at Youngsbury near 
Ware, were lumps of a manna-like substance. 
On being burnt these proved to consist of in- 
cense, and I have thus smelt the sweet savour 
of the funeral offerings of probably not less than 
1600 years ago (" Archax>logia," lii., 294). 

PAGE 39, n. 13. There does not appear to be 
any definite statement to this effect in Plato. 
In his "Republic," book viii., he maintains that 
the forms of government, five in number, succeed 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. IO/ 

each other in a definite order, and at the end of 
the cycle recommence. In book x. (615) he fixes 
the duration of human life at a hundred years, 
and inasmuch as throughout the " Republic " he 
insists on the analogy of the State with the in- 
dividual, his interpreters seem to have assumed 
the duration of the cycle to be five hundred years. 

PAGE 52, n. 14. St. Chrysostom more than 
once reports that Constantine was buried in the 
atrium of a church ; but that burials took place 
in English churches before the days of Cuthred, 
A.D. 796-805, appears from a rule as to consecra- 
tion of altars laid down by Archbishop Theodore 
of Canterbury, A.D. 668-692 (see Prof. Cheetham 
in Smith's " Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, 1 ' 
s.v. Churchyard). 

PAGE 52, n. 15. Instead of" knav'd," Wilkin's 
and some other editions read " gnawed." 
" Knav'd " seems to me the preferable reading. 
Can Browne have been thinking of the grave- 
scene in "Hamlet," "This skull had a tongue in 
it," " How the knave jowls it to the ground" ? 

PAGE 53, n. 16. Here, as in some other cases, 
Sir Thomas Browne was in advance of his time. 
The substance like Castile soap into which the 
muscles and albumenoid portions of the body are 
converted under certain circumstances is now 
well known under the name of " adipocere," or 
" adipocire," a name which appears to have been 
given to it in 1787 by MM. Fourcroy and 
Thouret, who are commonly regarded as the 
first discoverers of this peculiar chemical com- 
pound. Their discovery originated in the old 
burial-ground of the Innocents at Paris being 



108 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

laid out for building purposes, when \\\t fosses 
communes^ each containing from 1200 to 1500 
bodies, were laid bare. 

PAGE 54, n. 17. A note of the author, which, 
however, does not appear in the first edition of 
the " Hydriotaphia," explains that the Cariola is 
that part in the skeleton of a horse which is 
made by the haunch-bones. The term seems to 
be Italian. In Florio's " Italian and English 
Dictionary," 1659, Cariolaor Carriola is defined 
to mean "a trundle-bed . . . also the root or 
rumpe of a horse's taile." Cotgrave, in his 
" French Dictionary," gives Cariol and Cariole 
as "the root of a horse's tayle, or the bone 
thereof ; the rumpe bone." 

PAGE 56, n. 18. The valley between Jeru- 
salem and the Mount of Olives is supposed to 
have received the name of Jehoshaphat from the 
King of Judah of that name. There is, however, 
no evidence that the valley which was known as 
that of Kedron obtained this designation before 
the fourth century of the Christian era. 

PAGE6i, n. 19. "Hominempriusquam genito 
dente cremari mos gentium non est" (Plin., 
"Hist. Nat.," vii., 16). 



1 lerrft clauditur infans 



Et minor igne rogi " (Juv., Sat., xv., 140). 

PAGE 82, n. 20. This is the epitaph of 
Gordian III., recorded by Julius Capitolinus as 
having been placed on his tomb by the soldiery 
of Philip, and as having been destroyed by 
Licinius. 

PAGE 84, n. 21. In connexion with this, 
Mr. Edward Marshall, in " Notes and Queries," 
August 1 3th, 1892, p. 123, calls attention to a 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. IOQ 

passage in Jeremy Taylor, who writes with regard 
to the death of Bassus Aufidius, " And therefore 
his last scene was not so laborious, but God called 
him away something after the manner of Moses, 
which the Jews express by ' osculum oris Dei,' 
' the kiss of God's mouth,' that is, a death indeed 
foresignified, but gentle and serene, and without 
temptation." Mr. Marshall also cites some other 
passages relating to the death of Moses by the 
kisses of the Lord's mouth. 

PAGE 85, n. 22. See Evelyn's "Diary," 
ist April, 1644, "Here I took a turn in St. 
Innocents' Churchyard, where the story of the 
devouring quality of the ground (consuming 
bodies in twenty-four hours), the vast charnels 
of bones, tombs, pyramids and sepulchres took 
up much of my time." 

PAGE 93, n. 23. Red-glazed ware, commonly 
called " Samian," has been found in London 
bearing the mark, CRACVNA. F. (Smith's 
" Collectanea Antiqua," vol. i., p. 151). The F 
probably stands for FECIT. 

PAGE 97, n. 24. It is hard to understand 
what this "Observable Piece of Work" may 
have been. Possibly the remains of a hypo- 
caust were found, and the holes in the wall of 
burnt clay may have been flues for heated air. 

PAGE 99, n. 25. The author was in error in 
supposing that the radiate crown was always 
significant of a coin with the head of the emperor 
thus decorated having been struck after his 
death. From the days of Nero onwards, em- 
perors often assumed this crown upon their 
coins, probably as claiming some of the attri- 
butes of Apollo or the Sun. Tribonianus is a 
misprint for Trebonianus. 



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